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Special Collection | Colección Especial

Heritage from below in Latin America: Urban protests and the struggle for Human Rights

Authors:

Manuela Badilla,

Universidad de Valparaiso, CL
About Manuela

Manuela Badilla holds a PhD in Sociology from the New School for Social Research (2019) and a MA in Sociology from the same university (2013). She received her professional degree in Psychology from the University of Chile in 2006. Since September 2019 she is working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Valparaíso, Chile. In her current work, she researches the connections between collective memory, social mobilization and new generations in Chile.

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J. Renée Clark,

Griffith University, AU
About J. Renée

J. Renée Clark is a PhD candidate in critical heritage and memory studies at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Her research focuses on how a heritage of dictatorship catalyses attitudes in a democracy during times of national crisis. Her interests concentrate on participatory heritage (most specifically through heritage activism), difficult heritage, heritage of protest, the embodied performances of protest, cultural trauma, postmemory and museum studies. Her PhD project uses Chile’s recent protest movement of O-18 as a case study.

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Robert Mason

Griffith University, AU
About Robert

Robert Mason is a cultural historian, whose research focuses on public histories and heritage connected with violent, colonial and contested pasts. His work has been published in Heritage and Society, the International Journal of Heritage Studies, and the Journal of Intercultural Studies.

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Abstract

After the end of Latin American dictatorships, scholars closely analyzed the relationship between violence, memory and democracy. But these societies have continued to grapple not only with the legacy of authoritarian governments but with centuries of colonial power, with the result that many of the assumptions of earlier scholars are now being revisited. Intersectional questions of race, indigeneity and gender continue to refashion our understanding of memory and injustice. These questions frame this introductory article, in which we argue that Latin American contemporary social mobilisation that has denounced recent and long-term violence is constituted through intervention and creation of heritage from below. We propose that the interdisciplinary field of Critical Heritage Studies, that has burgeoned recently in the region, offers a means to understand how space, scale, and society interact to create meanings and work through violent pasts. The works of this Special Collection extend traditional conceptions of urban heritage as the mere conservation of cities’ landscape, towards the study of the relation between cultural geographies and the production of social mobilizations in Latin America. These geographies enable unique formulations of protest for activists, creating new capacities to contest recent and long-term human rights abuse.  

Resumen: Herencia desde abajo en Latinoamérica: Protestas urbanas y la lucha por los Derechos Humanos

Tras el fin de las dictaduras latinoamericanas, las/os académicos de la región analizaron de cerca la relación entre violencia, memoria y democracia. Pero estas sociedades han seguido lidiando con el legado de los gobiernos autorita-rios y con siglos de abuso colonial, por lo que muchos de los supuestos de estos primeros estudios ahora están siendo examinados. Preguntas sobre la interseccionalidad racial, indígena y de género continúan reformulando nuestra comprensión sobre la relación entre la memoria y la injusticia. Estas preguntas guían este artículo introductorio, en el que sostenemos que la movilización social contemporánea en Latinoamérica que ha denunciado las violencias recientes y de larga data se constituyen a través de la intervención y la creación de patrimonio desde abajo. Proponemos que el campo interdisciplinario de Estudios Críticos del Patrimonio, que ha florecido recientemente en la región, ofrece un medio para comprender cómo el espacio, sus diferentes escalas y la sociedad interactúan para crear significados y elaborar sus pasados de violencia y opresión. Los trabajos de este número especial amplían las concepciones tradicionales del patrimonio urbano como la mera conservación del paisaje de las ciudades, hacia el estudio de la relación entre geografías culturales y la producción y performance de movilizaciones sociales en la región. Estas geografías constituyen de forma única las protestas y sus significados, creando nuevas capacidades para luchar en contra de las violencias recientes y coloniales. 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10923
How to Cite: Badilla, M., Clark, J. R., & Mason, R. (2022). Heritage from below in Latin America: Urban protests and the struggle for Human Rights. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (113), 89–102. DOI: http://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10923
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Published on 30 Jun 2022.
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