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Mapping MemoryVisuality, Affect, and Embodied Politics in the Americas$
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Kaitlin M. Murphy

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823282548

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823282548.001.0001

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The Materiality of Memory: Touching, Seeing, and Feeling the Past

The Materiality of Memory: Touching, Seeing, and Feeling the Past

(p.56) Chapter 2 The Materiality of Memory: Touching, Seeing, and Feeling the Past
Mapping Memory

Kaitlin M. Murphy

Fordham University Press

Chapter Two focuses on the relationship between visuality, affect, memory, and place within the context of temporality, materiality, and performative reenactment. The chapter is grounded in an investigation of the relationship between memory and materiality, and asks how material matter can be strategically employed in the service of political historiographies; and how bodies, by way of reenactment, can function as a strategic component of exhuming and mapping memory onto place. It focuses on two documentaries, both by Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán: Chile, la Memoria Obstinada (Chile, Obstinate Memory, 1997) and Nostalgia de la Luz (Nostalgia for the Light, 2010). If official histories, by definition, sublimate and attempt to make transgressive memories disappear, then it is essential to investigate the ways in which memory persists in bodies and lived experience, and in the mnemonic potency of physical objects and spaces. Through meticulous memory mapping, Guzmán’s films illustrate the immense historiographical value in bringing bodies, materiality (including bones, objects, images, and physical sites), and official histories into contact and dialogue with one another.

Keywords:   affect, Chile, documentary film, memory, Patricio Guzmán, place

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