• The (Other Forms of) Architecture of Memory in Latin America
    Marielsa Castro Vizcarra

Doris Salcedo, Fragmentos, 2019, Bogota, Colombia. Photo: Marielsa Castro.

Civil wars, social conflicts, and human rights violations are common denominators in contemporary Latin American history. Consequently, the need to recover from a postwar trauma has become a national concern for this region. The questions of what, why, and how to memorialize the traumatic events are political in nature—particularly in countries where the violence has been the state’s responsibility. Thus, in the last decades public projects dedicated to remembrance have been the outcome of nations peace processes. This research questions the recent institutionalization of sites of memory, and the role of architecture in shaping these spaces. The investigation analyzes ten case studies in five countries: Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. The selection of the sites varies in form and purpose including: museums, memorials, monuments, public spaces, infrastructure, and a landscape project. It is the aim of this research to understand how each of these different sites are being used as public spaces, to understand who is the public, and to understand what is the role and importance of architecture in building spaces and experiences for peace and reconciliation process.

Marielsa Castro Vizcarra is an architect from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, and she has a master's degree in art, design and the public domain from Harvard University. Her practice has been developed as curator, educator and researcher. For two years (2017 –19) she was the director of the public and educational program at the Arts Museums of the Banco de la República in Bogotá, Colombia. From 2012 to 2015 she directed LIGA–Space for Architecture, Mexico City. An independent platform established to promote the exchange of ideas and research of contemporary Latin American architecture through a site-specific exhibition program. She is currently professor at the architecture school of the Tecnológico de Monterrey and cofounder of coopia, a trans-disciplinary cooperative that works on/through the limits of architecture.