Category: Monuments and Counter-Monuments

A Monumental Battle for the Story of Texas

In 2016, I visited the Alamo, as part of my first real return to Texas in many years. I had mapped out a road trip with my brother Edmund Roberts. Though Edmund has long known of…

The Self-Fashioning of Luz Jiménez

In José Clemente Orozco’s famous mural Cortés y La Malinche (1926), her gaze is cast downwards. Her figure occupies half of the composition, yet it feels shrunk—her body pushed towards…

Transnational Counter-monuments

Long before some monuments to enslavers began to tumble down recently, monuments were being erected in Latin America and the Caribbean not to forget the transatlantic slave…

Pandemic and Museums

English + Español
Museums navigate the challenges of satisfying the interests and curiosity of their patrons. Many crave to gawk at unusual, rare, strange, interesting or beautiful objects but…

Brazil’s Huge Past Ahead

I still recall the two lions imposingly fighting. One stands still on top of the other, with its two legs on its enemy’s chest. The other roars back, and has its claws ready to fight…

The Eye that Cries: Peru’s Unreconciled Memories

English + Español
In Lima, Peru, in the midst of Campo de Marte, a public park named after the god of war, a Zen space for reflection is guarded by a cast iron fence. El Ojo que Llora (“The Eye that Cries”…

Cartographies of Intimacy

At the beginning of Argentina’s draconian military dictatorship, the local parochial church in my neighborhood in Lomas de Zamora, a suburb nine miles south of Buenos Aires…

Monument Cemetery

Where do monuments go to die? The question may appear incongruous given the urges that have motivated the making of monuments since the beginnings of human time. Monuments are…

My cry into the world

English + Español
It was September 20, 2019. “One hundred, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred….” That was how we felt and that was how we counted in the face of the irremediable absences provoked…

El Barroso

English + Español
In Cabimas, my hometown and Venezuela’s main oil port, there’s a monument to Barroso II, an oil well that exploded in 1922, hurling a million barrels of oil into the air until it was…

To Violeta

English + Español
n the 1990s when I was conducting research on the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, I used to travel with my grandmother Josefina to the small town of Montegrande where Gabriela spent…

A Space of Art and Memory

Fragmentos: Espacio de Arte y Memoria is a stunningly beautiful counter-monument dedicated to the memory of the Colombian civil war and the suffering of all its victims. It was created in…

The Eyes of Chávez

English + Español
In France, working on my doctoral thesis on architecture and the city, I found that my research brought me closer to my homeland after six years of investigation into the Venezuelan context…

The Political Life of Statues

English + Español
The pedestal, devoid of the monument that once crowned it, tells us of a kingdom that no longer exists; the fallen bust at its base immersed in the sand is of a ruler that no one remembers anymore…

The Statues of Hugo Chávez

It has been eight years since the death of Hugo Chávez. Given the public knowledge of the former Venezuelan president’s battle with cancer and the speculation stirred up by his absence in the political scene in the months prior to his death, the announcement of his passing…

EsCultura Queer

It has been eight years since the death of Hugo Chávez. Given the public knowledge of the
former Venezuelan president’s battle with cancer and the speculation stirred up by his absence in
the political scene in the months prior to his death, the announcement of his passing on March 5,

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