Against depolitization: Prison-museums, escape memories, and the place of rights

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Abstract

This essay compares postdictatorial transformations of former spaces of confinement for political prisoners into shopping malls, such as the Buen Pastor prison in Córdoba (Argentina) and the Punta Carretas prison in Montevideo (Uruguay). It places these within the context of past and current debates on the human rights of “common prisoners,” as distinct from those of “political ones.” Yet precisely the omission of the political is mirrored at the prison-malls in the architectural erasure of territorial marks of repression (the cells) but also of all material traces of a poetics of freedom within the site, such as a window through which political prisoners had once successfully plotted a mass escape. These erasures can be read, I suggest, within a program of invisibilization of acts of freedom in the reconfiguration of memorial practices and places.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-74
Number of pages13
JournalMemory Studies
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 26 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Keywords

  • Argentina
  • memorial sites
  • neoliberalism
  • prisons
  • Uruguay

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