Andrea Ancira

(Working Title)

Drawing from personal “archives” related to Guatemala’s armed conflict between 1956 and 1996, this project rehearses questions of memory, militancy and mourning as a way to grapple with collective loss in the context of post war and genocide. Although most of the official records and archives that could give an account of the war have been destroyed or censored, it is possible to find traces of it in personal collections and in the landscape’s memory. This research articulates such traces through infinite rehearsals of memory, a collective practice of remembering by means of tools and practices of remembering (such as oral history, mapping, transgenerational landscapes and storytelling) that by focusing in the impossibility of the archive, contest idealized and a nation/state centric understandings of grief. 

This project entails a political urgency of revisiting and shedding light on some of the effects and affects of the Cold War in what could be considered an underlooked region when looking at this historical process. It aims to explore practices of mourning and remembering as a way to come to terms with collective trauma and to “tune-in” with different experiences of the war that might dissent from each other. This research will center on the affective economies that archives produce and circulate when generating and exchanging alternative narratives of a shared history. It will approach grief and memory from a communal and non-anthropocentric perspective therefore, the sense of political community that collective processes of mourning may furnish and the socio-ecological entanglements of grief will be among the central questions.

Andrea Ancira – Photograph from Zully Shaad’s personal archive
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