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Dis/Orientating Times: Questioning the Coloniality of Chilean Post-Dictatorial Memory Practices Through Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia De La Luz

Author:

Tjalling Valdés Olmos

About Tjalling

Tjalling Valdés Olmos is a postgraduate student in the 'Gender & Ethnicity' research master program at Utrecht University. He also works for the same university as a research assistant in the Graduate Gender program, as well as for Terra Critica, an international research network in the humanities. He holds a MSc degree in 'History of International Relations' from the London School of Economics. Previously he worked as a producer for video production company Present Plus, and was a researcher and project officer for the Dutch Performing Arts Fund. 

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Abstract

The ‘peripheral’ region of the Atacama, and the way in which this violent dictatorial past is memorised, is a central part of Patricio Guzmán’s 2010 documentary film Nostalgia de la Luz. By connecting the search for those who disappeared and were killed in this region during Pinochet’s regime with searches into the region’s colonial and pre-colonial pasts, the director tackles several layers of buried state violence that are rarely put together: dictatorial and colonial, as well as national, regional and global. I pose that Guzmán critiques not only the way Chile’s officials have dealt with traumatic memories of the dictatorship, but through the medium-specificity of his film also constructs a notion of memory that critiques the concept of linear time as it has come to be conceived throughout the colonial and neoliberal projects of the state. I pose that Guzmán’s film shows that Chile’s dead are not as dead as it may seem and its dictatorial and colonial pasts still linger, both discursively and materially, very prominently in its present and future. Guzmán’s film Nostalgia de la Luz furthermore has the capacity to be a vehicle of critique and knowledge production that, in the Chilean context, functions as a practice that counters a (neo)colonial, neoliberal linear conception and experience of time. In turn it continues to produce different engagements with traumatic memory and history in ways that tribunals and commissions cannot. 

How to Cite: Valdés Olmos, T., 2016. Dis/Orientating Times: Questioning the Coloniality of Chilean Post-Dictatorial Memory Practices Through Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia De La Luz. Junctions: Graduate Journal of the Humanities, 1(1), pp.37–49. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33391/jgjh.17
Published on 01 Mar 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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