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Project: Coping with Danger: Collective Memories of El Niño in Peru throughout the Twentieth Century

In the last 30 years, the number of disasters resulting from natural hazards has tripled worldwide. Due to climate change and ongoing urbanization processes, disasters will continue to increase over the next years.

Though climate change presents a risk for all of humankind, not everyone is equally vulnerable to natural hazards. The recurrence of rains, droughts, or wildfires is part of the everyday life of many people who live in high-vulnerable areas due to social and physical conditions.

The present project studies the connections between memories of disasters, social inequalities, and discrimination in Latin American societies. The project reconstructs “collective memories,” individual stories, and the experiences of the people who lived in the areas affected by El Niño during the 20th century in Peru.  

With my work, I aim to answer the following questions: How has a hegemonic memory about El Niño been constructed? What does this hegemonic memory about El Niño denies or hides? What determined that some memories were included in this hegemonic memory and others were not?



  • Enrique Arias. Doctoral student. Peace Studies at the University of Giessen 
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters. Chair for Peace Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Gießen