A Haunted Transition: Places of Past Violence in Post-Dictatorship Chilean Film
In my research I examine the role of film in constructing and contesting cultural memory of conflict and state repression. I am currently focussing on the representation of sites and spaces of past violence in post-dictatorship Chile, exploring how film might be said to “emplace memory” throughout urban environments, re-imagine sites which no longer bear the traces of violence or, conversely, exorcise that which was once haunted. I choose to use “haunting” as a conceptual metaphor to articulate the disruptive persistence of past injustice in the present—sometimes oppressive, sometimes transformative. How to summon the spectres of the past and address their demands, without petrifying historical narratives, or plunging into a cycle of traumatic repetition, is the problem at the heart of my work.
How is cultural memory of the military dictatorship shaped and contested at sites and spaces of past violence, and what is the role of film in this process?
How could post-dictatorship film be said to go beyond the work of state sanctioned truth and reconciliation campaigns, by provoking an affective encounter with the legacies of past violence?
How might tropes of haunting be considered a mode of resistance against societal amnesia?
University of Brighton Doctoral College Studentship