The business of memory: Reconstructing torture centers as shopping malls and tourist sites

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


What place does the city, with its multiplicity of spaces, rhythms, and times, have in a critical history of the transition from dictatorship to democracy? Addressing this question is crucial on at least two accounts. The material transformations that have taken place in urban spaces during and after the transition from a military regime to democracy have entailed the privatization of public space, but they are also part of an overarching effort that has sought to modify the experience of temporality. The impunity granted to military crimes resulted in an emerging, collective desire in the early 1990s to enter a new time, or new present, severed from the dictatorial past. The spatial history of life in the post-dictatorship era thus reveals a double movement: vis-à-vis both a nascent dream for this new time, demanding erasure of certain unsettling temporalities, and, as one expression of this impetus, the proliferation of spaces of consumption. Such transformations in urban areas have involved remodeling commercial spaces that come to specifically embody a new present for controlled freedom, and hand-in-hand with inducing homogenization across multiple temporalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAccounting for Violence
Subtitle of host publicationMarketing Memory in Latin America
PublisherDuke University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780822350255
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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