Trabajos de la memoria (Spanish Edition) [Elizabeth Jelin] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Este volumen tiene el propósito de promover. 1: Los trabajos de la memoria; Author: Jelin, Elizabeth; Published: Siglo XXI Editores, ; ISBN: X; Citation: Jelin, Elizabeth, Memorias de la. Selección de Los Trabajos de la Memoria de Elizabeth Jelin. Siglo Veintiuno Editores (), Madrid, pp. La selección incluye las siguientes secciones: .

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She has been Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and member of the Academic Directory of that institution.

Her main research focus lies on human rights, political repression memories, citizenship, social movements and family. When we started to think about the project, back in —the main researches were mainly focused on the institutional questions of the transitions, such as: Attention was also paid to the executive powers and the State reforms, from the public administration to the public policies.

Our first idea trzbajos looking into the meaning of building citizenship from the presence of the new and different social movements. Later on, following to the social movement logic and their claims, we started to work with the topic of memory. As I always say, I bumped into memory rather than choosing elkzabeth, as during the study of low human rights movement, the concept used by their activists came up.

That was the starting point. Sometimes I feel institutionalist in front of those working with culture topics or culturologist in front of the political scientists of the institutionality. I think the lack of integration of those two dimensions is currently one of the issues missing.

It was interesting because some countries were more clearly worried than others in the memory questions. For instance, we found difficult to find colleagues in Brazil who wanted to place the emphasis on the dictatorship memory, because repression was a daily concept in the favelas; it was not a dictatorship related privilege, but repression was part of the daily life of poor people.

The state repression had an impact on their daily life, and if that happened before or after a concrete date, memiria the regime was formally democratic or not, was a secondary fact against the institutional violence.

I think in the Research Program, the most social and symbolic side was particularly developed during its first years, such as the commemoration, the rituals; while the institutional dimension was not so much developed. Spite promoting institutional topics, such as the education system, archives, church or the military dimension, I have the impression that the institutional part was the weakest.

We did not study the trials during the Program, neither the financial remedies, that is, everything the States were taking care about. The State was clearly not part of the Program.

It is neither a word nor a field I truly like, however, it exists, it has an institutional logic, counts with scientific legitimacy as far as there are magazines, university courses as well as a whole institutional system of ls dedicated to this topic; the institutional leg we did not have was there developed. We mostly focused on the memory and less on the institutional transformation or how the institutions coped with the past.

On which dimensions do you observe some progress? It is about the analysis of the cultural products, from cinema to photography through literature, theatre and performance in the tradition of culture criticism. The socio-political contexts and the social entities fights are often missing in these analyses. There is another movement looking at things such as: The database for the international comparative lis of the book is impressive.

It proves how there is a cascade which started in Argentine upon launching trials and which greatly expanded around the globe. She proposes a way to measure the presence of human rights prosecutions in the recent past of each country and the world.

Memory, a hinge between past and present. Elizabet Jelin is interviewed by Laura Mombello.

It is stunning observing how this curve grows. It represents a whole institutional dimension precisely and deeply working. There is also some more literature on the remedies and the truth commission working in different places. Another line of work is more focused on the witness, on the subjectivity. There is an increasing number of testimonies and testimonial books, an increasing interest in taking testimony, but this does not need to be related with the treatment applied a couple of decades ago.


Given the urgency of the transition, those working in mental health or trauma related issues used that approach to tackle the testimonies. Currently though, there are more first person testimonies, such as, what did I do or where was I.

I believe it is more about a testimonial literature than researches analysing the subjectivities through testimonies. What I want to point out is that this field is not currently a field, but it looks more like several lines having a reduced dialogue among them. I believe the tables specialised in artistic topics, meetings and conferences deal not so much with the institutional side and are hardly connected with people and what happens to them.

I wonder if that point is not put in the background. There are left proper studies on what part of the past currently takes part in our daily lives; that is, more ethnographic and sociological studies. The testimonial literature you made reference to, how is it related to the idea of victim?

The human rights movement focused on the victim; however, as researcher, it does not need to be so, since it is possible to distinguish between victim and witness.

Primo Levi already made this distinction and in my opinion, it is an important distinction. According to the human rights movement, victim and witness were put together. For instance, I am a witness of the dictatorship, I lived it, it is part of my experience, but according to the definition of human rights violations, I am not a victim.

Under the paradigm of the human rights and its interpretation, in order to be a victim, it basically counts the personal vexation. Those who could not be at the university nor at a trade union, those who spent sleepless nights and night full of fear, or who lost their jobs or had to accept miserable working conditions and salaries, but whose experiences for good reasons are not included when counting the direct victims.

Socially speaking and in research terms, I believe that within the testimonial perspective, the idea of witness must be recovered, since it is wider than that of the victim. If we accept the human rights paradigm, the victim lies on the centre, not the witness. And we must go back to Primo Levi to think the direct witness is not there anymore while you are a secondary witness.

This is part of the problem, we must start to think bearing in mind the memories. What do the recent history studies contribute in this sense? Those identified with the recent history study overlap at a great extent with those focused on the memory studies, since memory is part of the recent history.

What happened in the different moments, both at a practical level and regarding ideas and subjectivities are subjected to studies. Recent history obviously includes the study of memories. It took a lot of time to legitimize the study of the contemporary period for the history discipline. For the most traditional sectors of history, those focused on the recent history move inside a field not so much different to the work of an anthropologist or a sociologist or a political scientist.

We must remember how difficult it was to accept the oral history and the usage of testimonies as sources in a historical research of the recent past.

If you want to learn a bit more and interpret or make sense of the studied processes, it is necessary to take into account the previous period. In Argentine, you cannot leave out the previous affiliations nor the political disputes. As for Chile, we must understand what the peaceful means to socialism really meant and how did it fit within the context of the Cold War.

During the Cold War period, as currently understood, the international context was very important. In Spain, a huge amount of studies on different sides of the Franco Regime is still coming up. It was a period spanning several decades which were not studied and now they are. Under the analysis of the Franco Regime, the 70s in Meemoria or the Cold War during the 70s, you must work with memories; however, using memory as a source with the aim to rebuild it by means of oral sources from those who experienced those situations.


Studying under a memory perspective implies understanding how that past still affects our lives after having passed through all that, even until today. Therefore, there are several lines: Another line is aimed to loe the analysis of the memory works. In my opinion, the questions related to memory are so much tied to the victims of the dictatorship that it is more difficult to deal with memory issues in the longer term, which is precisely what ethnography does.

Ludmila da Silva Catela speaks about short term memories and long term memories: These researchers carried out ,emoria historicizing memories showing how those facts still have an impact in the current everyday life. These are works at a local level, and my question is if they are being carried out at this moment. The memory issues have conquered the public space and the social sciences and humanities fields, however in a very unsatisfactory way; this topic is being trivialized.

Anything can be considered memory under a concept of common sense more than from an analytic perspective. I witnessed this in a lot of menoria in the last congress Latin Traajos Studies Association LASA Chicago, Maywhere everything was considered memory and everybody felt they could present works with that word in the title. On the other hand, in my opinion, among many researchers there is an easy way and not that interesting to work with memory.

An event is studied to check what is remembered from that event, how did it happen, or what did not happen. This event is studied a massacre or it greatly increases the number of studies on repression sites: However, they are very closed events themselves. Which would be consequently the questions we could pose today on memory linked issues?

The field of studies on memories started 30 years ago. I speak in relation to the Western countries, not only Latin America.

It took many years after the Shoah for the memory questions to come up. Firstly they were linked to the trauma and the testimony; the narrative capacity was at the centre of this view, the narrative was of utmost importance. The understanding and the meaning of the past was always narrated and the understanding of the trauma was more related to the semiotic inability to speak or by means of silences or narrative gaps. The artistic expression was added to these researches in a performative way.

Through this view, it is not about remembering, but about acting, and past is integrated in the present intervention.

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Van Alphen makes this distinction and in my opinion is a valid and interesting one. Afterwards, it comes the rituals and commemorations, monuments and memorials. There are treated the questions on public memories and policies on memories. A more recent movement, newly arising, elozabeth anchored to the integration of materiality.

Those rests are studied according to their present meaning. The Memory Studies Magazine includes interesting studies which do not make reference to memories of repressive or traumatic pasts related with political violence episodes. For instance, there is a very good article on how groups, different generations, remember the same school in a town. It proves how memories are linked to objects and materialities.

Those who studied in the 50s were linked to the school, and those who came later were linked to different things. These links were related to the pedagogic offer of the time: Through the dr building, different memory links were built.


Through these materialities it is possible to build the history of the school. In the memory field, this is the type of studies currently proposed. There are researchers working with displaced people from their place of origin where after many years those displaced or their descendant can come back.