(ResLatinam, School of European Languages and Literatures)
9 May 2012
Venue: Postgraduate Lounge, Level 4, Kate Edgar Information Commons (Building 315)
Host: Walescka Pino-Ojeda (SELL, NZCLAS)
SELL and New Zealand Centre for Latin American Studies (NZCLAS)
Seminar Series 2012 invites you to the book launch: Night and Fog: Neoliberalism, memory and trauma in post-authoritarian Chile.
Referring to the political-economic factors that underpin the imposition of a neoliberal model in Chile through the coup of 1973, David Harvey states: “Not for the first time, a brutal experiment carried out in the periphery became a model for the formulation of politics in the centre.” In this sense, it is made evident that if the 11th of September of 1973 was the stage for the installation and diffusion of neoliberalism from the margins of the global capitalist sphere, then the events of the United States’ own September 11th is symptomatic of a degradation that had already been palpable as early as the 1930s, and that, as it had occurred then, is again collapsing from the very centres of power from which such economic models have been propagated and imposed around the world. This volume reflects upon Chile’s current socio-political reality, situated as it is within such international dynamics. Night and Fog evokes the title of its namesake, the film Nuit and Brouillard by Alain Resnais in which he details the atrocities of the Nazi regime’s concentration camps. In its own use of this title, Resnais’ work itself constitutes an act of recuperation with respect to the edict launched by Hitler’s government known as “Nacht und Nebel,” which consisted of the clandestine apprehension of dissenters to its acts of occupation and oppression. Within the particular circumstances discussed in this study, it is suggested that the seventeen years of dictatorship in Chile also constitute an undeniably dark and obfuscated moment in the country’s social history, and that the period that has followed, far from harbouring the coming of the light of day, has been rather dominated by a dense fog in which fear and disorientation have persisted, and in which the establishment of new coherent communal projects is still being sought.