© The Author(s) 2017. Studies on Chilean memory sites have focused on the spaces created to remember the human rights abuses carried out during the dictatorship. However, the ways in which people experience and appropriate these readings of the past have received scarce attention. In this article, we explore how individuals who were not victims of human rights abuses experience two memory sites in Santiago, Chile: Villa Grimaldi and Londres 38. Following the premise that memory emerges as a product of semiotic and material assembling materialized in the interaction between sites and visitors, we analyze the relationship between the memory sites’ suggested readings of the past and the experiences of the public. We argue that this experience allows visitors to connect past atrocities with broader social discourses circulating in Chile in the form of abstract knowledge. This requires visitors to assume a position in relation to different historical accounts, allowing specific reconfigurations of collective memory to emerge.
- collective memory
- memory sites