After the end of Guatemala’s thirty-six-year-long internal armed conflict, the country set about figuring out the history of this violent past. This article explores street artists’ contributions to historical knowledge, arguing, first, that they are public historians and, second, that these artist-historians work to expand responsibility for gross human rights violations beyond a traditional focus on the military to include the economic elite, whose role in the conflict must also be acknowledged if Guatemala is to work through past trauma.
“The Work…of a Thousand Different Hands” Holding a Thousand Cans of Spray Paint and Buckets of Glue : How Guatemala’s Street Artist-Historians Expand the History of the Country’s Violent Past
Rachel Hatcher received her PhD in history from the University of Saskatchewan in 2015 and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She studies public narratives of the past and those who write them. Her musing on some public narratives of South African history can be read at ActiveHistory.ca.
Rachel Hatcher; “The Work…of a Thousand Different Hands” Holding a Thousand Cans of Spray Paint and Buckets of Glue : How Guatemala’s Street Artist-Historians Expand the History of the Country’s Violent Past. The Public Historian 1 February 2017; 39 (1): 10–34. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2017.39.1.10
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