Space and Culture
In this short essay, I explore the recent reassessment of ruined sites haunted by the echoes of State terrorism across the Southern Cone of Latin America, asking what is at stake in the conservation of former detention centers and focusing on Villa Grimaldi in Chile. The site was initially transformed into a green park but has subsequently become a museum in which remains of the original buildings and artifacts from the repressive past are publicly accessible. I draw on perspectives that claim that even ruins that portray past acts of inhumanity do not necessarily need to evoke melancholic or traumatic retrospection; rather, they are sites of alternative pasts and futures. The transition from the original green park design to a more prominent use of the ruins speaks of an invitation to reassess the past, addressing marginal aspects of emblematic memories, including the political conflict that underpinned the repression.
Como citar: Aguilera C. Memories of State Terrorism in Chile: Dark Ruins at Villa Grimaldi. Space and Culture. December 2021. doi:10.1177/12063312211066563