Welcome

Ghosts of the recent past continue to maintain a presence that shifts, performs for and dominates the public imaginary in many countries across Latin America. The need to address the hauntologies of the past has seen a rise in the region, propelling socio-political debates concerned with articulating the processing of loss, trauma, grief and mourning. These issues have become pertinent to nations such as Guatemala, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil where public debate on the so-called Dirty Wars of the 1960s and 70s, have begun to be reassessed in a contemporary light. Mexico however, remains challenged in its engagement with this process, and instead the speculative light remains shining upon the glorification of events from the past which include the Revolution of 1910-20. However, during the past century the Mexican nation has experienced periods of significant political and social unrest where lives have been lost amidst a context of conflict and violence. Of particular note are the aforementioned Revolution, the student unrest and massacre at the Plaza de Tlatelolco in 1968, the subsequent dirty war of the 1970s, the EZLN uprising in Chiapas (1994–present) and more recently, the current Drug Wars which seen a tarnish of the country’s external image and continues to dominate political debate. Within this climate Mexican filmmakers, artists, photographers, designers, performance artists and painters turn to address the traumatic events of the past and present, choosing to represent these insights through a variety of visual media. This conference will thus assess the cultural outputs emerging from the chaos and disorder of both past and present traumas as indicators of a process of mourning, re-appropriation and possible enlightenment.

 

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