Articles

From the Truth Commission Report to the Stage and the Museum: The Artistic Dislocation of Violence from the Ecuadorian Chapter of 1983 to 2008

Authors
  • Jorge Poveda Yánez (University of California, Riverside)
  • Andrés Aguirre Jaramillo (Universidad Central del Ecuador)

Abstract

Are commemorative plaques enough to collectively and symbolically amend the horror of human rights violations? And if not, why is this strategy still the most common way for governments to pay their due respects to the families of the victims? This paper analyzes the suitability of the arts to address the reparation of the victims of human rights-related crimes perpetrated in Ecuador between 1983 and 2008, as investigated by the ad-hoc Truth Commission installed there afterwards. National and constitutional law, as well as international jurisprudence, will help to illuminate this study objective. Furthermore, in order to unpack the collective and individual dimensions of the right to memory of the victims, their families and their broader social fabric in which they are embedded, the notion of ‘memory sites’ is incorporated into the analysis. To contribute to the establishment of interconnections between the law and the arts, several initiatives for the recovery of memory in Ecuador are reviewed, from a critical stance. In this vein, the text foregrounds a centralizing proposal to consolidate an Ecuadorian aesthetics of memory, through institutionalization and museography, to address the governmental duty for reparations; but more importantly, to finally permeate the consciousness of an entire country whose past is still waiting to be incorporated into its present. By intertwining the legal, the artistic and the political layers present in this discussion, we advance in the direction of an aesthetics of memory that challenges the dominant narratives of genocidal violence.

Keywords: memory, integral restitution, violation of human rights, memory centers, immaterial reparations

How to Cite:

Yánez, J. P. & Jaramillo, A. A., (2023) “From the Truth Commission Report to the Stage and the Museum: The Artistic Dislocation of Violence from the Ecuadorian Chapter of 1983 to 2008”, Documenta 41(2): 12, 327. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/documenta.90040

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Published on
20 Dec 2023
Peer Reviewed