The Art of Darkness

By Margolis, Mac | Newsweek, April 12, 2010 | Go to article overview

The Art of Darkness


Margolis, Mac, Newsweek


Byline: Mac Margolis

The new Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera, has his work cut out for him, and temblors and tsunamis may be just the beginning. In January, a month before the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that shook this South American nation, outgoing president Michelle Bachelet inaugurated the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago. She dedicated the sleek, glass- and copper-sheathed building to the victims of the dirty war, the thousands of Chileans who were murdered, tortured, or "disappeared" during the 17-year dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. "Only injuries thoroughly cleaned can heal," Bachelet, a physician by training, said at the opening. Visitors to the three-story gallery take in halls of silent horrors--snapshots, letters, even the bones of the dead--and come face to face with a wall of 1,000 photos of those arrested and never seen again. But poking wounds is risky, especially in Latin America, where some of the worst human-rights atrocities are just coming to light. Now Pinera must help Chileans not only get back on their feet but also quiet their ghosts.

Chile is not the only country in Latin America seeking to reconcile its past. Peru will name the architect to build its Lugar de la Memoria later this year. Plans to open or upgrade human-rights museums are underway in Guatemala, Argentina, and Mexico. At one level, these are monuments to renascent democracy, which was shut down across Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s, with devastating consequences. Some 3,065 people were killed under Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990. Ten times that many fell to serial juntas in Argentina from 1976 to 1983, while 70,000 Peruvians were killed by terrorist groups or state security forces between 1980 and 2000. Remembering victims publicly is not new--think Holocaust museums, or South Africa's Apartheid Museum--nor is the laudable claim behind such memorials: that societies must own up to their darkest hour so as never to repeat it. What's -different--and dangerous--about Latin America is how fresh the wounds are. "The Holocaust memorials went up when most of the victims and perpetrators were long gone," says Princeton historian Jeremy Adelman. "In Latin America, they're walking in our midst."

Managing memories is now part of the job description of the new generation of Latin American leaders, and how they fare at the task may determine the fate of the hemisphere's still-tender democracies. Clearly, the monuments have been painstakingly planned. A jury of international architects, including Kenneth Frampton and Rafael Moneo, will select the designer of the Peru museum. Chile's $19 million Memory Museum, designed by Brazilian architect Marcos Figueroa, dominates an entire block in Santiago. Argentina's Memory Museum, newly relocated to the city of Rosario, includes exhibits from the dirty wars in Honduras, Algeria, the Soviet Union, and the Balkans. Some offer interactive galleries where visitors can transport themselves, via "virtual" technology, to the past, and all feature personal effects, letters, and photographs of those who died or disappeared. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Art of Darkness
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.