From September 26-29, 2000 on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, New
WORLD Theater convened a major national and international gathering, ‘Intersection II,’ a
conference/performance festival focused on interdisciplinary and intercultural theater work. ‘Intersection II’
included international participation, while examining innovative theater practice within community, and
national and global spheres. The event brought together artists, intellectuals, theater producers, arts
presenters, and arts activists to explore the process, evolution, and dynamics of making theater in the
dawning moments of the 21st century. One of the featured performances was ‘Antígona,’ directed by Miguel
Rubio Zapata and masterfully performed by Teresa Ralli, founding member of Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani
(Peru). This one-woman performance of José Watanabe’s version of Sophocles classic tragedy is a
breathtaking example of the devastation caused by twenty years of civil violence in Peru. Although this is the
story of only one character, it speaks for the nearly 70,000 disappeared men, women and children of Peru,
and for the thousands of survivors who are still fighting for their right to mourn their loved ones.
Peru’s most important theater collective, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani has been working since 1971 at
the forefront of theatrical experimentation, political performance, and collective creation. Yuyachkani is a
Quechua word that means ‘I am thinking, I am remembering;’ under this name, the theater group has devoted
itself to the collective exploration of embodied social memory, particularly in relation to questions of
ethnicity, violence, and memory in Peru. Their work has been among the most important in Latin Americas
so called New Popular Theatre, with a strong commitment to grass-roots community issues, mobilization, and
advocacy. Yuyachkani won Peru’s National Human Rights Award in 2000. Known for its creative embrace
of both indigenous performance forms as well as cosmopolitan theatrical forms, Yuyachkani offers insight
into Peruvian and Latin American theater, and to broader issues of postcolonial social aesthetics.
For more documentaion of Yuyachkani's work please see thier Artist Profile.