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Counter-Memories seeks to revitalize the discussion about the legacies of twentieth-century military dictatorships in Latin America, in light of current initiatives and contemporary debates on symbolic reparations, commodification of memory, and anti-monumentalism. Counter-Memories goal as a digital platform is to offer a transnational space of exchange, collaboration, and documentation of contemporary initiatives engaged in debates over the public memory of the last Latin American dictatorships and their afterlives. It focuses on new scholarship, artistic interventions, anti-monumental actions, and archival practices that dispute official memory, subverting and refusing the forms in which the State celebrates or erases these pasts as countries such as Brazil, Chile, and Argentina in the forthcoming 50th anniversaries of their most recent military coups. In documenting a variety of political, academic, and artistic initiatives that are at the forefront of these debates, our ultimate goal is to amplify their voices and raise new questions on the legacies of dictatorships that still permeate the institutions and subjectivities of Latin American societies.

In recent years, various social movements - in the U.S. and abroad - have engaged in campaigns and actions to topple monuments of Confederate leaders, enslavers, and other symbols of white supremacy, in a material and symbolic demand for racial justice and historical reparations. The toppling of monuments is only the most visible example of a deep reckoning with the monumentalization of colonial and racial injustices that takes many forms: the development of independent archives, theoretical reflections, collective syllabi, artistic interventions and the creation of counter-monuments that center the demands for justice, equity, and human rights. While examples like the Toppled Monuments Archive, All Monuments Must Fall, and Monument Lab have been cataloging and connecting these efforts in the anglophone world, similar initiatives in Latin America remain less known. Recent projects like DeMonumenta and Galeria de Racistas, in Brazil, and Monumentos Incódomos in Chile, have been grappling with the legacies of settler-colonial violence and slavery in a way that would stand in fruitful dialogue with projects in North America and elsewhere. Moreover, the region has a long history of social movements and artist collectives fighting for the right to memory, historical reparations and transitional justice, challenging the monumentalization of its dictatorial past. We believe that placing these initiatives in shared context and dialogue is not only fruitful but necessary.

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