Healing Spaces: Memorial Expression in Guatemalan Genocide Museums and Murals
MetadataShow full item record
Following the signing of the Guatemalan Peace Accords in December 1996 ending the country’s 36-year internal armed conflict, the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) was formally established. Its purpose was to clarify human rights violations that occurred throughout the conflict as well as during the genocidal period between 1981 and 1983. One of the CEH’s recommendations called for the remembrance of the victims that included public memorialization in coordination with civil society organizations. Memorial efforts in the country since the signing of the peace accords range in form, purpose, accessibility, and efficacy. These sites are largely understudied. This project evaluates three memorials of the Guatemalan genocide—two murals, and one memorial museum—based on extensive field notes collected on two separate non-participant ethnographic research trips in 2017. The project evaluates each memorial according to a typology of private/reflective and public/educative functions of memorial expression. I consider the primary motivations of each memorial, and where they could potentially address both. I also consider and how these spaces respond to the needs of the communities they are situated in, and help to provide a place for cultural healing.
McIntire, Ella Victoria (2018). Healing Spaces: Memorial Expression in Guatemalan Genocide Museums and Murals. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from