Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > Peru: Students protest government’s decision to stop granting art degrees

Peru: Students protest government’s decision to stop granting art degrees

By Janett Chavarry Garcia

In my country, half of the young people live in the capital, Lima. These people are traveling around the city looking for a special way to live. Some of them study, work, combine both together and they always think, and I think the same — that the government has to provide a sound foundation to build our lives so we can contribute to our country’s development and economy.
Recently, many people, including me, received the news that the government didn’t approve a project that involves young people and their education. Peru is the only country in South America that does not consider art students as professionals with an endorsed degree from the government.
Many people believe this rule is unheard-of because music or art students are professionals in the same way as a doctor or lawyer. As such, they need this degree for access to scholarships or to get a good position in a European conservatory or art academy.
In Peru, an art career is the worst paid profession and many artists compensate their salaries in the streets by singing or playing in weddings or parties.
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Students at Peru’s National Conservatory of Music and the National School of Bellas Artes protest the university decision to not grant degrees in music and the arts.
(Photo: Andino / Victor Gomez Palomino)

I’m not convinced that staging strikes will solve problems. Sometimes, they create more disturbances and don’t contribute to the dialogue between the opposing parties, but many people like students, teachers and members of parliaments joined together to force the change of this rule.
But no traditional methods were executed in this strike.

It was concerts, a chorus to sing our national anthem, an art exposition, and coffins with the artist’s symbols laid out in front of our parliament that relayed the message that artists and musicians must have the professional degree for their careers.
These days, I have the opportunity of moving around our parliament and I was really excited and satisfied. Not only because I considered their complaints fair but it was the first time in a long time that people in the streets resisted striking in the traditional manner and believed that these alternative methods were the best options for the students and teachers.
In this moment, I understood how the government plays a special role in a person’ life — we need them and they need us. The well-being of society is a result of a cycle of situations, rules, conflicts and good moments and when these situations impact a group of people, it transforms the future of that generation.
It just goes to show that a country’s people is capable of performing surprising actions to have their voices heard.

Learn more about Janett:
Janett Chávarry García was born in Lima, Peru in 1977. It is where she still lives with her parents and three sisters in the same apartment near the city’s town square.
Janett has a degree in Communications from Lima University. These days, Janett studies the development of communications and mass media as it pertains to social issues.
As such, she has worked in human resources, television and has participated in public enterprise projects.
When Janett is not writing for Latina Lista, she loves to spend her free time either curled up with a good book of fiction and her dogs or working in a little exercise by playing volleyball or cycling around Lima.

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  • Maxoderm
    October 17, 2008 at 6:41 am

    The condition of artists in Peru seems so saddening, thanks for exposing this. And yes, they are professionals and should be treated as professionals.

  • Vimax
    March 7, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Lima is the best city to live here in South America, I just love it. Thank you for posting this.

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