The Memory that Builds the Future: Lessons from the Rosario Memory Museum

By Emilse B. Hidalgo.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper looks into the pedagogic and cultural work carried out by the Rosario Memory Museum in Argentina. Founded by municipal order in 2001, the Rosario Memory Museum is the first of its kind in Argentina and one of the founding members of the International Coalition of Historic Sites of Conscience together with Memoria Abierta (Open Memory), Argentina. Although all seventeen museum members of the international coalition stimulate dialogue on pressing social issues and promote humanitarian and democratic values, each memory museum is unique and carries out this task in ways that are specifically local, regional and national. Thus, my paper first looks into the artistic and cultural activities that the Rosario Memory Museum carries out with the relatives, friends and surviving victims of State Terrorism, and how these exhibitions are used at present as material for a critical and reflexive exemplary memory that learns from the past. I also explore how the museum designs inclusive exhibitions, workshops and discussion forums that teach the wider community democratic values, human rights and strategies for a more active citizenship. The discussion then ends with the role that the Rosario Memory Museum fulfils today in the creation of a collective social memory and in fostering notions of a fuller and more inclusive national identity. In contrast to the traditional approach to memory museums, I argue in favour of an “ephemeral” constructivist museum to represent national collective memories in permanent (re)construction.

Keywords: Memory Museum, Argentina, Ephemeral/Constructivist Museum, State Terrorism

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.95-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.129MB).

Dr. Emilse B. Hidalgo

PhD Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Latin American and Hispanic Studies, Department of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Emilse B. Hidalgo is a doctor in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies and a lecturer of Critical Theory and Latin American and Hispanic Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her areas of research include contemporary postdictatorship cultural productions in South America, memory museums and memory/historical archives, and the development of a pedagogic political culture that fosters social activism and human rights.


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