aerial view of the Amazon river

Current Issue

Monuments and Counter-Monuments

Spring/Summer 2021​ | Volume XX, Number 3

Table of Contents

Editor’s Letter →

by June Carolyn Erlick

Counter-Monuments

Evolving Memory

Evolving Memory

The surest engagement with memory of atrocities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean may actually lie in its perpetual irresolution, that only an unfinished memorial process can guarantee the life of memory.  For it may be the finished monument that completes memory itself, puts a cap on memory-work and draws a bottom line underneath an era that will forever haunt.

A Space of Art and Memory

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…

Mockuments

Mockuments

English + Español
On June 12, 2014, a ten-foot white fiberglass replica of the Statue of Liberty makes its entry into Libertad, a small town on Colombia’s Atlantic coast, after a journey through half the country moored…

Monument Cemetery

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…

Ephemeral Memorials

Ephemeral Memorials

The emotional challenges of Covid-19 have been immense, especially when it comes to memorializing the dead—both our own loved ones and the nameless others lost in an enormous…

Focus on Venezuela

The Statues of the Cult

The Statues of the Cult

English + Español
I began writing these lines in Baltimore while visiting with my in-laws. I have always admired their sustained faith in the printing press, as they have multiple newspapers by the dining table…

The Eyes of Chávez

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

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

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…

El Barroso

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…

Focus on Afro-Descendants

In Search of Identities

EsCultura Queer

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…

The Self-Fashioning of Luz Jiménez

The Self-Fashioning of Luz Jiménez

English + Español
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…

To Violeta

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…

Places of Memory

My cry into the world

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…

The Ghosts of Canudos: A War Memorial

The Ghosts of Canudos: A War Memorial

English + Español
Just like in the Argentine pampas or in the plains of Venezuela, the space in the Brazilian sertão, in the country’s Northeast region, has no limits. The hard brown land seems to stretch out in all directions, undulating endlessly, and the feeling it provokes is inevitably one of melancholy

Cartographies of Intimacy

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…

Book Talk

Becoming Free, Becoming Black

Becoming Free, Becoming Black

The year was 1690. In the city of Havana, Cuba, a 20-year old enslaved woman named Juana asked the man who held her in slavery, one Juan Junco González, to grant her…

Wait for Me

Wait for Me

Forty years ago, when traveling to visit family and friends in Europe from conflict zones of Central America, I was often asked: “So, how are things going over there?” But there was…