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This is a report on the Contacta 72 festival that was organized by SINAMOS (Sistema Nacional de Apoyo a la Movilización Social) from July 26–30, 1972, during the military regime headed by General Juan Velasco Alvarado. The anonymous author underscores the importance of creating links between artists and the general public, a goal accomplished by means of a festival that sought “to transcend the traditional limitations of museums, galleries, and theater.” The report notes that the event and the work done by participants were totally funded by the Peruvian government. On this occasion, the well-known slogan “revolución–arte–pueblo” was replaced by “SINAMOS–Contacta–Pueblo.” The artists and the organizers, Francisco Mariotti and Luis Arias Vera, indicate the similarities between the goals of a previous version of Contacta (that they directed in 1971 when they were with the IAC, Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo) and the objectives of the government, which through SINAMOS, was the major sponsor of the event.


This report was published in the official journal of the SINAMOS agency.


The Contacta 72 festival, which opened on Wednesday July 26, at the Parque de la Reserva in Lima, was the first attempt made by the regime led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968–75) to bring art, in all its many expressions, to the Peruvian people. The five-day event attracted about two hundred and fifty thousand visitors, who came to see the works exhibited by the Peruvian–Swiss artist Francisco Mariotti (b. 1943) and the painters Luis Arias Vera (1932–2016) and Luis Zevallos (b. 1933), among others. The first festival was staged at the IAC (Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo) when the director of the institute, historian and art critic Alfonso Castrillón (b. 1935), invited Mariotti to show his work there. Mariotti then suggested creating the Contacta–Festival de Arte Total, which launched a multidisciplinary group effort to make art available to the general public. As a result of the huge success of that event, and Mariotti’s inclusion in SINAMOS (Sistema Nacional de Apoyo a la Movilización Social), the second festival was wholly funded by the Peruvian government. The next event of this kind was the Encuentro Nacional Inkari, organized in 1973, and in 1980, Mariotti promoted the mythical group event E. P. S. Huayco (which was active in 1980–81).


[As complementary reading about SINAMOS and Naylamp 72, see the following articles in the ICAA digital archive: (unattributed) “Revolución en la artesanía” (doc. no. 1139278); (unattributed) “Naylamp 72” (doc. no. 1139009); by Alfonso Castrillón, Leslie Lee, and Carlos Bernasconi “Fundamentación para el dictamen por mayoría simple a favor del artista popular Joaquín López Antay” (doc. no. 1135896); by Alfonso Bermúdez “Premio a López Antay suscita controversias. Unos: consagración del arte popular. Otros: una cosa es arte y otra artesanía” (doc. no. 1135879); by Francisco Abril de Vivero, Luis Cossío Marino, and Alberto Dávila “Artistas plásticos cuestionan premio” (doc. no. 1135960); and (unattributed) “‘No todos nos quieren ni en Lima ni en Ayacucho’: así comentó sobre cuestionamiento a premio” (doc. no. 1135930)]. 


[See also the following articles, all unattributed, about the multidisciplinary festivals organized by SINAMOS, such as Contacta 72 (1972) in “SINAMOS Contacta 72: a los artistas y artesanos del Perú” (doc. no. 1138964), “Contacta 72 será una experiencia de significación” (doc. no. 1138979) and “Pueblo y arte se dieron la mano en Contacta 72: gran cita en el Parque de la Reserva” (doc. no. 1138994); about Inkari (1973) in “Reintegración. Inkari: un reencuentro esperado” (doc. no. 1139039); and about ORAMS IX (1975) in “Arte y Pueblo” (doc. no. 1139024)].

Daniel Contreras Medina
Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru