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Abstract

The Ayacucho retablo has changed dramatically as a result of life events and experiences. Its most prominent architects were not strangers to the period of violence, as they experienced it firsthand. I want to comment on a set of Edilberto Jimenez retablos in what we might call an "ethics of testimony," or an act by which authors take responsibility for that which they represent, believing that their goal is to reveal the truth and to discover a new range of possible truths by doing so. It is my belief that these retablos are worth contemplation, for they represent something forbidden to reveal, yet urgent to be shown. They are like uncontrived storytellers that did not come about through the beauty of traditional art or history books. Their stunning images use various artistic techniques to tell of horrific events that are, by definition, always indescribable.

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