Chilean History and the Sine Wave
- University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Public History Review, 2020, 27, pp. 69-85
- Issue Date:
Continuing their studies of post-Pinochet memorials in Chile, the authors analyse a recent trend in the interpretation of trauma sites in Santiago which regards the need to resolve the tensions raised by the Pinochet years as more important than dwelling in detail on what was visited upon the victims. We argue that this significant shift from previous interpretations is carried by the younger generation of guides who did not undergo the repression personally. We note these changes with approbation, while noting that the desire not to discuss the worst excesses of the Pinochet regime has led to to a corresponding downplay of the highest points of human experience manifested by the victims themselves. We cite several instances that mark a peak of human experience in Chilean history, and suggest that several might well be used by the site interpreters to further instil a sense of pride among Chilean young people, rather than despair.