Peru is famous for the cultural, architectural and traditional heritage of the Inca Empire. This pre- Columbian civilization left architectural treasures like Machu Picchu or the Cuzco cities, but they also imposed their language, the Quechua, which has remained in use until now and is the official language of Peru along with Spanish. After achieving independence from Spain in 1821, Peru has gone through periods of political instability aggravated by the appearance of a communist guerrilla group known as the Shining Path, which was also involved in drug trafficking. The current president, Ollanta Humala, fought against this guerrilla movement during his youth and also against ex- President Fujimori, who is now serving a 25-year prison sentence for human rights abuse charges. Humala is now considered a moderate and he states that his priority is to lift Peruvians out of the poverty which still blights much of the population.
During the 20th century, Peruvian literature became widely known because of authors such as the poet Cesar Vallejo, considered one of the most innovative 20th century poets. In his book
Tricle, he introduced avant-garde literary techniques into Spanish for the first time using inspiration from the Surrealist and Dadaist movements. Another celebrated Peruvian writer is the Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, who was a leading member of the Latin American Boom. Some of Llosa's most celebrated works include The Feast of the Goat, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and Death in the Andes. In the novel Way to Paradise, Vargas Llosa creates a parallel between Gauguin and his grandmother’s life, who was the half-Peruvian proto-socialist leader and feminist precursor, Flora Tristan.
Peru is home to a thriving contemporary arts scene, much of which harks back to the indigenous Inca traditions. Some of the most prominent 20th century artists from Peru are sculptors Joaquín Roca Rey and Victor Delfín and painters Daniel Hernández, José Sabogal and Fernando de Szyszlo, all of which engage with the indigenous art of Peru, as well as the traditions of the European avant- garde. The Peruvian operatic tenor,Juan Diego Flórez,is internationallywellknown for his roles inbel cantooperas.Peruvian cinema has begun to gain international attention, mainly due to the work of director Claudia Llosa, whose films Madeinusa and