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"It's not 30 pesos. It's 500 years.": Monuments, memory and activism in the Wallmapu during the Estallido Social in Chile

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This article studies to what extent the interaction between activists and historical monuments during the 2019 Chilean protests created a shift in the interpretation of the country’s past, thus facilitating the emergence of alternative and more inclusive narratives able to challenge hegemonic power structures. The article embarks on this endeavour through an analysis of three cases of demonumentalisation that occurred in the Chilean city of Temuco on the 29th of October 2019. Methodologically, the article engages with a combination of theories regarding the coloniality of power, the politics of aesthetics, and cultural memory. Finally, the paper concludes by arguing that Chilean activists’ engagement in the practice of demonumentalisation exposed alternative narratives concerning the historical conflict between the Chilean state and the Mapuche community. Making visible the perpetuation of unjust social structures in Chilean society and creating bonds of solidarity between the Chilean mass movement and the Mapuche movement.
Translated title of the contribution“No son 30 pesos. Son 500 años.”: Monumentos, memoria y activismo en el Wallmapu durante el estallido social en Chile
Original languageEnglish
JournalLiteratura y Linguistica
Pages (from-to)223-239
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

The article is a modified version of a conference paper that I presented at the Mnemonics Summer School 2021 on the 18th of August. The event was held at Sandbjerg Manor, Denmark. The paper was part of the panel “Public Space and Memory Practices” that was chaired by Prof. Jessica Ortner from the University of Copenhagen. Prof. Michael Rothberg from the University of California, Los Angeles, was the discussant. The theoretical framework has been slightly modified for the published version, along with other minor changes in the text.

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