ReVista (Cambridge)

Articles from Vol. 13, No. 1, Fall

A New Museum for Independence
thIS IS a very Short Story of how a SMall museum in Colombia underwent a pro- found process of change and renovation, tackling sensitive and controversial issues of memory in recent Colombian history.The independence of Colombia is cel- ebrated every...
A Search for Justice
Dear June,In 2004, when I leftHarvard and last saw you, I thought I would never learn the truth of what exactly happened to Carlos Horacio in the horrendous holocaust of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá. Yet fate was holding a tremendous surprise for...
Because They Were Taken Alive
In Guatemala City, a single garage light has been burning continuously for almost thirty years. The garage's owner, a woman now in her nineties, cannot bring herself to turn it off.On May 15, 1984, her son, Rubén Amílcar Farfán, leftthe house early as...
Beyond Mad Men: A Secret World War
Beyond Mad Men: A Secret World Warthe Brothers: John foster dulles, allen dulles, and their Secret world war by Stephen Kinzer (Times Books, 2013, 416 pp.)At a time when so many view- ers are captivated or repelled by Mad Men's portrayal of the lascivious,...
Covering Central America in the 1980s
The wipers slapped across the rainsmeared windshield as we sped through downtown San Salvador. Nelson Ayala clutched the steering wheel to keep us on the road through the torrential downpour. It was already two hours past dark, and it felt way too late...
Democracy, Citizenship and Commemoration in Colombia
MILITARY DETACHMENTS COSTUMED IN THE historical uniforms of the patriotic army journeyed on foot, by mule and on horseback on a long journey promoted as the Liberty Route to celebrate Colombia's bicentennial. The media showed the inhabitants of different...
Discovering Dominga
In the open central market one morning in Rabinal, Guatemala, 28-year-old Denese Becker picked up a bolt of corte cloth, woven fabric used by Achi Maya women to make their skirts, and brought it to her face. She closed her eyes. "My mother," she said....
Displacement and Community Organizing
We were having lunch at María's house in Mocoa, Colombia, when it struck me how much the story of her past was shaped by the legal framework that defines her today as a victim, and when I first met her, in 2011, as an internally displaced woman. Over...
Educating the "Good Citizen"
(ProQuest: ... denotes text missing in the original.)on My Many fIeld trIpS, I tell GuateMalan teens I'm interested in how they learn about the 36-year conflicto armado (armed conflict). I then study their fac- es. If not baffled, they avert their eyes...
Historical Footprints
we have all heard GeorGe Santayana'S famous dictum, "Those who don't re- member the past are condemned to repeat it." In fact, when asked why it is important to learn history, most people would probably include some form of this rationale in their answers....
In Search of Miss Esme
aS a hIStorIan I have never worked on the Spanish Civil War. My concerns were Argentine History and women in Latin America. Yet the Spanish Civil War has been central to my life and that of my family.The war years left deep scars in all of us, scars...
Keeping the Silence, Breaking the Silence
As editor of the English-language Buenos Aires Herald, I lived through the worst years (1976 to the end of 1979) of the dictatorship in Argentina, and I was constantly astonished by the way the general population accepted military rule. It is true that...
Liquid Tombs for Colombia's Disappeared
Colombia has been a country with amnesia for a long time.The country has been at war-a social catastrophe since 1948, sparked by the murder of the revered liberal leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. Although his death took place in Bogotá, during the following...
Memories and Their Consequences
I vISIted the MuSeo de la MeMorIa y loS Derechos Humanos in Santiago, Chile, two years ago. It was a heart-rending ex- perience. To enter the museum, I moved through a stark and subterranean passage and found myself in a somber space of transition. There,...
Memoryscape
MemoryscapeA Documentary Film Explores Memory by PAMelA yATeSwalkInG up to 12,000 feet In the peruvIan Andes took two entire days. With Ramiro Niño de Guzmán, a Quechua-speaking human rights leader, I set out for his childhood home in Checcasa, along...
Mexico's Great Transformation and U.S.-Mexican Relations
Mexico's Great Transformation and U.S.-Mexican Relationstwo nations indivisible: mexico, the united States, and the road ahead by Shannon o'neil (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013)As graduate students in Har- vard's Department of Govern- ment,...
Neruda and the Chilean Open Graves
Chilean graves have been opening during the last years. Remains of poet Pablo Neruda were removed last May from his tomb facing the Pacific in the small Chilean coastal town of Isla Negra. Before Neruda, in May 2011, remains of former President Salvador...
Notes from Exile
It certainly sounded glamorous at the time-and even might sound so today. In October 1981, I flew from Berkeley, California, where I had been visiting, to attend an academic conference at Yale University on political scenarios under the Chilean dictatorship....
Our Disappeared/Nuestros Desaparecidos
Memory has a way of finding its way into the present through small cracks. Ruins of an ancient city, a sign on a street or a poem can keep the past in the present.One evening about eight years ago I was wondering what had become of Patricia Dixon, a...
Patchwork Memories
In every season of the year, Violeta Morales would dress exactly the same: a jacket, black skirt and a pair of worndown shoes. A leader of an artisans' group engaged in making intricate patchwork memory tapestries, Morales talked and created when others...
Prospects of Peace
On April 9, 2013, tens of thousands of citizens filled the streets of Bogotá in a massive demonstration "for peace, democracy, and the defense of the public good." Many of them had traveled from the farthest reaches of rural Colombia to march with poor,...
Recupera Chile
In february 2010, an 8.8 MaGnI- tude earthquake and tsunami devastated coastal towns in Chile. Not much later, Har- vard Kennedy School Profes- sor Doug Ahlers traveled to Chile to explore how his uni- versity could assist in com- munity recovery. DRCLAS...
The Alchemy of Narrative
SIX-YEAR-OLD ANA PEEKS OUT OF A KEYHOLE onto her middle-class Bogotá street even though her parents had forbidden her to do so. It is Friday, April 9, 1948, and popular presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán has been assassinated, an event that...
The First Draft of History
When an ass assi n's bomb tore through the La Penca guerrilla base in southern Nicaragua three decades ago, it cast a spotlight on some of the worst and some of the best of journalism.The blast was meant to kill Eden Pastora, who had broken with the...
The Language of Public Memory
A green midsized Renault sedan sits on a ramp lifting the car's open hood and revealing an engine stuffed with palm seeds. Entitled Renault 12, the piece is part of an exhibit Somos Tierra developed as a result of a large group dialogue. In a series...
The Optimist's Colombia
The Optimist's Colombiacolombia: a concise contemporary history by Michael J. LaRosa and Germán R. Mejía (Rowman and Littlefield, Maryland, 2012, 265 pages)In 2008, as a Harvard college sophomore, I was getting ready to go back to Colom- bia, my birthplace,...
The Past Is Present
Irma Flaquer's image as a 22-year-old Guatemalan reporter stares from the pages of a 1960 Time magazine, her eyes blackened by a government mob that didn't like her feisty stance. She never gave up, fighting with her pen against the long dictatorship,...
The Rub
Brace yourself as you enter the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago de Chile. Galleries of missing people will glare back at your glance, from a wall so enormous the collective calamity exceeds the span of your vision. The photographed faces...
Transforming the Andes
Transforming the AndesBeyond the lettered city: indigenous literacies in the andes by Joanne Rappaport and Tom Cummins (Duke Uni- versity Press, 2012)In the spirit of full disclosure, I begin by stating that the co-authors of this award- winning book*...
Unearthing the Past
In 2010, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez ordered the exhumation of Simón Bolívar, the most renowned leader of Latin America's 19th century independence movements, to determine whether Bolívar had been poisoned. Venezuelan state television subsequently...
Violent Legacies, Intimate Photos
Violent Legacies, Intimate PhotosUnsettled/Desasosiego, Children in a World of Gangs by Donna DeCesare (University of Texas Press, Austin, 2013, 164 pages)Unsettled/Desasosiego is an honest book that recounts Donna DeCesare's long relationship with Central...
Writing the Rough Draft of Salvadoran History
Writing the Rough Draft of Salvadoran Historyel Salvador could Be like that: a memoir of war, Politics, and Journalism from the front row of the last Bloody conflict of the u.S.-Soviet cold war by Joseph b. Frazier (Karina Library Press, 203 pages)"There...
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