While working in Guatemala since 2012, I have conducted research on artistic responses to historical memory and genocide through interviews with artists, writers and activists in civil society. As a consequence I developed a curatorial research project, Guatemala Después, from 2014-2016 in partnership with Ciudad de la Imaginación, a contemporary arts organization based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The interdisciplinary and transnational collaboration explored the ways in which political and social realities in contemporary Guatemala have affected its artistic and cultural production in the aftermath of the “inner armed conflict” (1970-1996).
The exhibition showcased artistic investigations by teams of nearly 40 artists, social scientists, and community activists, as well as reference works by established Guatemalan artists. The result of this project was exhibited at The New School (April 2015), Ciudad de la Imaginación in Quetzaltenango (June 2015), and the Centro Cultural de España in Guatemala City (September 2015), engaging hundreds of people in critical dialogues about historical memory, migration and violence, through the exhibitions and public programs. The work resulted in a printed catalog “Guatemala Después: Rethinking the Past, Reimagining the Future” with curatorial texts and essays (in English and Spanish), produced with my co-curators.
In 2015-2016 I developed the Guatemala Después Digital Collection platform using the Omeka open-source software, to digitally archive the artistic works and collaborative process involved, serving as a valuable resource for students, artists, researchers and educators.This project has been presented at a conference on Translating Memory and Remembrance across the Disciplineshosted at SUNY New Paltzin October 2015, a symposium on Living Truth in the Americasat theRutgers Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights in April 2016, and a symposium on Making the Case for Cultural Exchange hosted by the Asian Cultural Council at NYU in June 2017. Finally, the Independent Curators International (ICI) hosted a special Think Tank in July 2016, inviting prominent curators and domain experts from the NYU Hemispheric Institute, Brooklyn Museum and the Americas Society / Council of the Americas, to examine the outcomes of the digital collection platform and adopting such archiving practices in other artistic and curatorial contexts.
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