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Interview with Trilce Garcia Cosavalente and Helen Quiñones Loayza
Quechua women are powerful

Trilce Garcia and Helen Quinones
© Trilce Garcia and Helen Quinones

How did you find out about your story’s protagonist/movement?

When I traveled to Cusco for an investigation on human trafficking in the region I met Helen. She had a radio show where she used to speak to rural women in Quechua about their rights and inform the community about social issues that could affect them. I was impressed by her profile. She was a very young woman, very articulate, had a clear objective and a very high social conscience.

Why does the world need to learn more about your story’s movement?

Quechua women are powerful. We believe we are in front of a stigmatized community whose members have not been able to raise their heads since colonial times. But Andean people, mostly women, are fiercely fighting for them to be heard. They already have a strong voice—the only thing left is finding the platforms to be heard.

What aspect have you found most challenging during the process so far?

The COVID-19 pandemic made the whole process very difficult. Arranging and recording interviews was very slow and limited. For me it was challenging to find the right structure for the story as well as the basic style direction, such as drawings and colors. These were difficult decisions to be made.

How are you trying to give back to the community?

Peru is celebrating 200 years of independence, and with that we are facing many quickly surfacing problems. Racism is one such problem. In this context, I think it is really important to visualize new insights into how we can combat racism and discrimination that hinder us from advancing as a nation. This is why I try to center all my work on stories of stigmatized communities so that people in Peru and other parts of the world will learn about their struggles. But above all, I want to show how they are working to achieve change.