Reliving, Narrating, Showing, and Repairing Mass Crimes through Space
Fifth International Conference on Perpetrators of Mass Violence
22 to 24 November 2023
Facultat de Filologia, Traducció I Comunicació
(Universitat de València)
Mass crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide crystallize in sites that their perpetrators consider suitable for their criminal task or that are conditioned for their purposes. These sites vary, on the one hand, according to different geographical, social, political, religious, and cultural contexts; on the other hand, depending on the duration, dynamics and changes in the life of political regimes, conflict situations, war context, and threats (real or imagined) from the enemy. Despite these undeniable differences, the discursive frameworks in which these places are inscribed possess a sort of air of familiarity. For this reason, the comparative research of such spaces is fruitful, as it allows us to grasp both the affiliations, mimicries and inspirations as well as the ‘originality’ and innovation of criminal cartography.
If this happens with the scenes of mass crimes, the same occurs with those that have been converted into sites of memory: many of their identifying features are preserved or altered, distancing marks are delineated with respect to the past. In sum, these sites become scenarios of commemorative rituals, mourning or pedagogy.
Based on six specific sites, the REPERCRI research group carries out currently a PROMETEO excellence project: “From Spaces of Perpetration to Sites of Memory. Forms of Representation”. This conference closes the research period with an exercise of comparison of these spaces from a series of vertebral axes susceptible of illuminating their singularities both in the past and in the present. These spaces are as follows: Valley of the Fallen (Spain), Buchenwald (Germany), S21- Tuol Sleng (Cambodia), ex ESMA (Argentina), Villa Grimaldi (Chile) and Memorial of Resistance (Brazil). Three continents, six countries and a time span of almost eighty years.
The conference is structured around four axes from the perspective of cultural representations: a) Mapping the crime scene; b) Narrating the crimes from the museum’s layout and narrative; c) Trauma and Catharsis: Perpetrators, Victims and Mediations; d) Gendering the mass crime in the sites legacy.
In order to obtain an attendance certificate, it will be necessary to register on the “Registration Form” which you will find available in the next column of this page. You can attend either in person –at the Faculty of Philology, Translation and Communication of the University of Valencia– or online. In any case, it will be necessary to attend 80% of the sessions in order to receive this certificate.
* The time zone shown on the conference brochure corresponds to UTC/GMT+1.