Monday, 5 April 2010

Latin America: Memory Museums

At their best, these museums are an attempt to inoculate societies against their basest inclinations. "We must consolidate a democratic culture that can save us from fanaticism and drive home [the idea] that terror cannot be combated with terror," says Mario Vargas Llosa, the novelist who heads the planning group for the Peruvian museum. The danger is that remembering turns into a political banner, reviving historical animosities and institutionalizing an ideological battle over who controls memory. "In Latin America this is not a disinterested process, much less an effort to work at forgiveness," says Brazilian political analyst Amaury de Souza. "It's a struggle over who gets to write history."
Newsweek has a comparative article on the various commemorative museum projects underway in Latin America. I could quibble on a few points (plus the word 'memoria' is sporting an additional accent!), but it's good to see a piece like this, and with a nice photo too.

The Politics of Memory Museums

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