December 2, 2016

Introduction, The Resilience of Memory, Truth, and Justice Processes: Culture, Politics, and Social Mobilizations

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The Resilience of Memory, Truth, and Justice Processes: Culture, Politics, and Social Mobilizations
edited by Roberta Villalón                                                                 

A second wave of memory, truth, and justice mobilizations has been spreading in Latin America since the turn of the century (Villalón, 2015). The push to address unresolved human rights violations perpetrated in the 1970s and 1980s has resulted in the (re)opening of trials of perpetrators and a more complex understanding of past and present violence and inequalities. The resilient collective efforts that have fed these processes have also gained depth. Richer collective memories and the achievement of (at least partially) successful outcomes have provided movements a clear sense that not all their efforts have been in vain. Justice, reconciliation, and social equality may not be at all possible, but they are utopic ideals worth pursuing (Villalón, 2016).
This third issue on the politics of collective memory expands on the contents of the first two (March 2015 and September 2016). Theoretically, it contributes to the body of literature in the field by uncovering the politics of framing memory and is developed in terms of a critical epistemology from the bottom up. The research is intended to challenge systems and practices of inequality and contribute to community efforts to generate social change for justice. The contributors dismantle inequalities of knowledge and power by critically pointing to controversies, inconsistencies, and complexities of memory, truth, and justice processes. Their studies allow for a more nuanced comprehension of past violence, breaking up simplistic interpretations that pair victims and victimizers, left and right, pre- and postconflict, truth and injustice to explore the grey areas in between and reveal the misleading effects of dichotomous rationalizations.

Empirically, half of the articles in this issue complement those of the second by focusing on the way artistic and cultural expressions contribute to collective memory making and justice seeking. The artistic and cultural sphere has been central in furthering …


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