We two Australian public historians recently published a history of memorials in Santiago, Chile, to the victims of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, Narrow but Endlessly Deep: The Struggle for Memorialisation in Chile since the Transition to Democracy. Our different upbringings and experiences (one a migrant from Cuba, the other Anglo-Australian) produced disagreements as to how we should interpret the memorializations. In particular, the foundational narratives of Cuba and Australia in which we were raised affected our differing interpretations. The article explains these differing foundational narratives and then cites examples of textual disagreements and how we resolved them. We believe that this challenging interrogation of lifetime values improved the monograph and may offer insights for other cross-cultural collaborations.
When Cultures Divide: Writing Public History in Latin America
Marivic Wyndham is senior lecturer at the School of International Studies, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney. Her historical interests in Latin America include human rights, memorialization, place studies, and testimony. She has also published in Australian cultural history, including A World-Proof Life: Eleanor Dark, a Writer in Her Times (2007).
Peter Read is a historian and adjunct professor in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, Australian National University, Canberra. He is the author of many books of public and Aboriginal history including Returning to Nothing: The Meaning of Lost Places (1996).
Marivic Wyndham, Peter Read; When Cultures Divide: Writing Public History in Latin America. The Public Historian 1 February 2018; 40 (1): 34–53. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2018.40.1.34
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