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Límite (Arica)

Print version ISSN 0718-1361On-line version ISSN 0718-5065

Abstract

AGUILERA, Carolina. MEMORY IS FULL OF CITY: URBAN RENOVATION AND UNDERGROUND MEMORIES IN THE DEMOLITION OF THE PUBLIC PRISON IN THE CHILEAN POST-DICTATORSHIP. Límite (Arica) [online]. 2018, vol.13, n.41, pp.60-69. ISSN 0718-1361.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-50652018000100060.

This paper poses the importance of incorporating spatial analysis, together with the concept of "underground memories", into the research regarding the recovery of memorial sites, based on the case study of the destruction of a prison that was the most important political prison of the Chilean dictatorship between 1973-1990, as well as being a heritage building due to its modern penitentiary typology as of de end of the nineteenth century. Through examining archival documentation, historical photographs and interviews, the present research shows that the social geography of space, in other words the way it is socially produced, also participates in the configuration of social memory on historical events that are highly disputed within a society. In particular, it is argued that along with the disputes regarding the representations of the past as well as the power relations among the indi viduals involved (dynamics that are generally emphasized in this type of study), there was an urban renovation policy in place that encouraged the real estate market that would explain the virtually nil opposition to the demolition of the Prison that began in 1994 and being replaced by two corporate high rises. However, the memory of the Prison has been re-territorialized in other public and private memory settings due to the conservation of some meaningful elements currently installed in the Museum of Memory and in the hands of people. The only elements that memorialize the Prison in the Museum are part of the front of the building (façade) and a plaque on the floor, recently installed for the 40th anniversary of the Military Coup.

Keywords : Public Prison; urban renewal; post-dictatorship; underground memories; political violence.

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