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KMTV documentaries unlock histories of Parliament and Peru in partnership with the University of Kent

The county's only dedicated television channel is broadening its horizons with the broadcasting of two new documentaries, produced in collaboration with the University of Kent.

KMTV's films are part of the Kent Thinks Discovers series, airing this evening, and hope to reveal to audiences the varied and global research taking place on its campuses.

"Peru: A Living Memory" will detail the country's dark past
"Peru: A Living Memory" will detail the country's dark past

The first film, titled "Peru: A Living Memory", follows a University of Kent Professor who wants to teach citizens about all aspects of the country's history in order to create a fully realised national identity for future generations of Peruvians.

Professor Natalia Sobrevilla Perea said: "I believe that in the case of Peru, but everywhere as well, it is important to know what has happened in the past so that you have a real assessment of the situation.

"Current things that are happening always have an origin in what's come before."

The country's history dates back to the cradle of civilisation and over the millennia have seen empires rise and fall, from the mighty Incas to the Spanish conquistadors. Next year sees Peru celebrating 'El Bicentenario', 200 years of independence.

But its recent past has been blighted with unprecedented violence and political corruption. A series of autocratic governments and communist insurgencies during the last decades of the 20th century brought the country to the brink of collapse.

Both documentaries will air on tonight
Both documentaries will air on tonight

The documentary follows Natalia's tireless work engaging with the public through university talks and writing in local publications.

One of her crowning achievements has been her contribution to developing an online archive in association with LUM, a centre remembering Peru's years of violence.

She said: "I feel very strongly that my work should contribute to a better understanding of the world and to help in improving the everyday practice of politics. Working on the film has made it possible to articulate this connection and to speak to many people I work with about this."

Production saw a KMTV crew leaving their Medway studio for the Peruvian capital Lima and the desert city of Tacna, something which excited KMTV's editor-in-chief Andy Richards.

He said: "These films are an opportunity to showcase the pioneering research being done by world-leading academics at the University of Kent. "Peru: A Living Memory" was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our crew to capture the global reach of work being done right here in Kent."

The films will highlight the groundbreaking research conducted at the university
The films will highlight the groundbreaking research conducted at the university

KMTV's second documentary reveals the hidden secrets of the Houses of Parliament, discovered through groundbreaking research conducted by a university lecturer.

"Preserving the Palace" documents work done to discover the building's historic ventilation system which shaped the overall design of the famous building.

Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt, from the Kent School of Architecture and Planning, has led the research, which is feeding directly into the Palace of Westminster's Restoration and Renewal Programme, an ambitious (and expensive) project to ensure the building's preserved at a time when it faces major structural and maintenance issues.

Shot last August, producer Cameron Tucker recounted the incredible access the team were given to the seat of British power.

He said: "My abiding memory from the shoot was Henrik guiding us through a dimly lit tunnel in the bowels of the Palace.

KMTV shot the documentary inside the Houses of Parliament
KMTV shot the documentary inside the Houses of Parliament

"We had to contort ourselves with the camera equipment around a series of pipes before we shuffled into a chamber. Henrik pointed upwards and said, "That's where Boris sits." That was pretty surreal."

Explaining how his research could inform future projects, Dr Schoenefeldt said: "Buckingham Palace is also undergoing a major reservicing programme and the knowledge gained from my work in Westminster could be very valuable in how we use historic principles to make buildings more sustainable, rather than simply relying on modern technologies."

Research Excellence Manager Betty Woessner added: "We are very proud to have Henrik as a representative of the University of Kent.

"His work is vital. It has had a significant impact in the fields of architecture and heritage. Working with KMTV has helped us get this message across."

Kent Thinks Discovers: Peru - A Living Memory airs at 7.30pm tonight on KMTV (Freeview Channel 7, Virgin 159 and online at kmtv.co.uk)

Kent Thinks Discovers: Preserving the Palace airs at 7.45pm on KMTV (Freeview Channel 7 and online at kmtv.co.uk)

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