Chapter

The Past as Monument in El Salvador

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Abstract

This chapter explores conservatives’ monumentalization of the past. Yet rather than erect a physical monument, the way the right talks about the importance of remembering the past monumentalizes and petrifies it, making it irrelevant to the present and future. For the human rights community, on the other hand, the past is alive. It lives and breathes and is highly pertinent to the present for it explains and inspires. Within the human rights community’s whole hearted support of memory, and conservatives less than half-hearted mentions of memory, there is room to remember different truths of the past, and to forget them. Struggles between these distinct truths of the war dominate in post-Peace El Salvador.

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