Punk and Revolution: 7 More Interpretations of Peruvian Reality.

AuthorTorres, Ana
PositionLATIN AMERICA - Book review

Greene, Shane. Punk and Revolution: 7 More Interpretations of Peruvian Reality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.

Shane Greene, an associate professor of anthropology at Indiana University, engages in a dialectic with Jose Carlos Mariategui's 1928 work, Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality, through the perspective of the Peruvian punk movement of the 1980s. Mariategui sought to nationalize Marxism to solve the country's problems of poverty, lack of education, agrarian reform, the role of religion and the indigenous population, as well as regional versus centralized government. In fact, he coined the phrase "shining path toward revolution," that was appropriated by Abimael Guzman's Maoist-inspired terrorist group during the 1980s and 1990s that led to over 60,000 deaths in Peru during this period of national strife (75).

Greene proposes: "I'm not talking about what punk is in essence. Rather, I have an interest in thinking about what punk intends to be, punk as a peculiar way of directing one's attention" (7). In his seven interpretations, he inverts the problem of the Indian to become the problem of the pituco while contrasting the cholo-punk with the pituco-punk. This distinction is class and ethnic based, since the cholo tends to be the indigenous immigrant to Lima, whereas the pituco comes from the middle to upper-class stratum of society. As a consequence, the cholo-punks were perceived as more of a threat to the nation as more representative of the rural base that made up the bulk of the Shining Path's revolutionary movement; hence, they suffered more persecution from the state since they generally had more violence present at their concerts in the more marginalized Lince area of Peru. On the other hand, the more peaceful pituco-punks were connected to power structures and played in the Bohemian area of Barranco with few repercussions. Both groups fall under the category of subterranean rock, which is used almost as a synonym for subversive rock even though rock for some of them was the medium of the imperialist oppressors. Because of this, "Faced with a war over Peru's past and future, the pestilence surrounded the subtes head and wouldn't leave them be, Lima's punk revolution really began as an act to denounce violence and express a position for life" (35).

Greene incorporates serious academic approaches along with a tongue-in-cheek mixture of profanity, photographs from the artistic group NN (No Name), concert...

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