Tag Archive

Letters from Chile

Letters from Chile: A photo gallery

, , , , , , , , ,

In addition to the photos that have accompanied Zach McKiernan’s “Letters from Chile” series this spring, there have been many more that we didn’t post with the articles, but which we’re including here in a visual addendum to the series. All are by the author unless otherwise noted. Read More

Letters from Chile: A dead dictator's homage, a public history movement (Part 2)

, , , , , , , , , ,

/continued from Part I

At the outset of this series, I proposed two seemingly simple questions in hopes of unpacking the complexity of sites of memory and how they “engage citizens in human rights issues” vis-à-vis the past.  What type of historic work is taking place?  Read More

Letters from Chile: A dead dictator's homage, a public history movement (Part 1)

, , , , , , , ,

This past Sunday, June 10, the right-wing Corporation 11 de Septiembre held an homage to the dead dictator Augusto Pinochet under the auspices of a documentary screening at the iconic Teatro Caupolican in Santiago Centro. That day it was answered and challenged in sometimes violent ways by diverse sectors of society and weeks before when many of Santiago’s notably non-violent human rights organizations and sites of memory maneuvered to use legal and political recourse to prevent a ceremony that celebrated a leader infamous for overseeing an era of human rights violations. Read More

National Stadium, national memory: A personal letter

, , , , , , , ,

This is a personal letter.  It is personal because I came to Chile to write and participate in the history of the museum project “National Stadium, National Memory,” whose aim is “the material establishment of national memory in respect… to the Concentration Camp… in 1973.”  Read More

The Museum of Memory and Human Rights: Making consensus matter?

, , , , , , , , ,

front entrance of museumSince my September arrival in Chile, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights has become a common ground for my historical work, with handfuls of visits to its Center of Documentation for conversations and conferences, and the permanent exhibit. Although not a physical or recovered site connected to human rights violations, it sits squarely in the memory landscape of Chile, a barely-born institution that has made waves since its 2010 inauguration under then-President Michele Bachalet. Read More

History on a shoestring at Nido 20: A memory site in its infancy

, , , , , , , ,

In Chile between 1973 and 1990, according to the 2004 National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture (The Valech Report), 1,132 sites were utilized as centers of detention, torture, and extermination.  They ranged from hospitals and soccer stadiums to police precincts and private houses.  Read More

Memorial Paine’s everyday lives: Local stories with universal lessons

, , , , , , , ,

memorial mosaicRaúl Lazo liked to ride horses.  Luis Gaete worked with his hands in the fields.  Juan Leiva believed rural education was a right.  José Castro had a red tractor.  Juan Leonardo, president of the Association of the Relatives of the Disappeared and Executed Detainees of Paine (AFDD-Paine), explained on a sunny countryside morning that this was a principal point of Memorial Paine: to (re)humanize those community members who fell victim to Pinochet’s repression in the rural region for which the memorial is named.  Read More

Bougainvillea and bitter memories: Villa Grimaldi Park for Peace

, , , , , , ,

Horns honk, people push, patience is short; Santiago is teeming with activity, a modern metropolis in the throes of summer heat.  But 45 minutes from the city’s center sits a quiet place of rest, respite, and reflection, filled with the pleasant sounds of birds in birch trees and the smell of roses and bougainvillea.  Read More

An urgent call to action in Aysén, Chile: Casa Memoria José Domingo Cañas 1367

, , , , , , , , ,

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  Zachary McKiernan, a doctoral student in public history at the University of California/Santa Barbara and a regular reviewer for “Off the Wall,” is working on a series of “Letters from Chile,” based on his current dissertation research.  Read More