The Legacy of "Nunca más": Cuture, Politics, and Memory in Chile, 1932-2014

By: Leah Swinson '15

Advising Faculty: Leo Garofalo

In countries that have experienced authoritarian regimes, the dominant historical narrative often documents the experiences of the group in power and silences the oppressed group, minimizing the acts of oppression against it or eliminating the group from the historical
record altogether. In Chile, in particular, which experienced an authoritarian dictatorship from 1973-1990, cultural narratives present in Chilean literature, music, and film, can reassert and redefine the voices of the oppressed under the regime. During this time, the Armed Forces’ use of state terror cultivated an environment of fear and silence. Contextualizing the cultural texts produced by important Chilean artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, and poets establish the connections between culture, politics, and human rights before, during, and after the 1973-1990 dictatorship.

By exploring the ways in which cultural narratives both document and produce historical memory, this thesis examines the ways in which Chileans constructed the country’s traumatic past and challenge the dictatorship’s legacies in the present day.

This honors thesis may be read in its entirety at Digital Commons @ Connecticut College.

Related Fields: Holleran Center, History