Memorials are proliferating throughout the globe. States recognize the political value of memorials: memorials can convey national unity, a sense of overcoming violent legacies, a commitment to political stability or the strengthening of democracy. Memorials represent fitful negotiations between states and societies symbolically to right wrongs, to recognize loss, to assert distinct historical narratives that are not dominant.
This book explores relationships among art, representation and politics through memorials to violent pasts in Spain and Latin America. Drawing from curators, art historians, psychologists, political theorists, holocaust studies scholars, as well as the voices of artists, activists, and families of murdered and disappeared loved ones, Politics and the Art of Commemoration uses memorials as conceptual lenses into deep politics of conflict and as suggestive arenas for imagining democratic praxis.
Tracing deep histories of political struggle and suggesting that today’s commemorative practices are innovating powerful forms of collective political action, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of international relations, Latin American studies and memory studies.
Table of Contents
1. Memorials to Struggle 2. Memorializing Spain’s Narrative of Empire 3. "The Eye that Cries": Victims, Victimizers, and the Question of Empathy 4. Searching and the Inter-Generational Transmission of Grief 5. The "Bicis" of Fernando Traverso: The Globality of Art and Memory Making
Katherine Hite is Frederick Ferris Thompson Professor of Political Science and Director of the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She is the author of When the Romance Ended: Leaders of the Chilean Left, 1968-1998, as well as several works on the politics of memory.
This book received an honorable mention in the New England Council of Latin American Studies best book category 2012.