The 2019–2020 Chilean anti-neoliberal uprising: A catalyst for decolonial de-monumentalization


Memory Studies

This article analyzes the interventions of monuments that occurred in conjunction with the mass 2019–2020 anti-neoliberal protests in Chile where almost 400 monuments representing Spanish conquerors and colonial and nineteenth-century national heroes were pulled down, contested, or transformed. The article illustrates how a social movement against social injustices and inequalities enacted and engaged with decolonial repertoires of action. It analyzes two performative cases of toppled monuments to Pedro de Valdivia, the leading Spanish conqueror, in the southern cities of Concepción and Valdivia. It then examines recent debate about the anti-racist and decolonial de-monumentalization trend seen around the world and discusses some particularities of the Latin American case. It concludes by arguing that, although the monument interventions involved spontaneous and effervescent ritualistic affects, they are expressive of decolonial challenges to intertwined and long-standing national memories, calling for reconsideration of our national identities.

Como citar: Badilla M, Aguilera C. The 2019–2020 Chilean anti-neoliberal uprising: A catalyst for decolonial de-monumentalization. Memory Studies. 2021;14(6):1226-1240. doi:10.1177/17506980211054305