Antigua, Guatemala. February 20-23, 2014Photo album of the conference. / Album de fotos de la conferencia.
Photography plays a key role in the cultural politics of the Cold War and its aftermath, from its use in state surveillance operations; through its deployment in acts of resistance to state-sponsored terrorism; to its role in commemorative and on-going judicial processes. While scholars have begun to outline the visual cultural politics of the Cold War in regional and national contexts, there has yet to be a full exploration of the global, interconnected networks of production, circulation and reception of photography during this period. A full picture of how photography helped mediate a war that was prosecuted on multiple fronts requires the collaboration of scholars from multiple disciplines and wide-ranging historical expertise. The aim of this conference is to spark this scholarly network and collaboration. The Cold War Camera is a conference that brings together scholars from varied fields to trace how photography forges these intercultural links and mediates this global conflict.February 20th, 2014. Sites of Memory Tour, Guatemala City. Photographer and activist Daniel Hernández-Salazar kicks off the conference by coordinating a visit to important sites where photography helps memorialize the nation's turbulent and often violent history--one whose legacy is still present.
To shift critical discussion from the US-USSR binary, the conference will be held in Guatemala City, the epicenter of proxy conflicts in Latin America. In 1954, the constitutionally elected president Jacobo Arbenz Guzman was overthrown in a CIA-backed coup, plunging Guatemala into four decades of political violence. 200,000 citizens are believed to have been killed or disappeared. Guatemala represents an early case of CIA intervention, and training ground for further action in other, better known 'cold war' sites in the hemisphere, such as Cuba, Argentina, and Chile. For this reason, Guatemala City is a critical location for investigating the global cultural significance of the Cold War Camera.
December 15th, 2013. 10-page drafts of conference papers are due for circulation with co-panelists and discussants. February 20th, 2014. Sites of Memory Tour, Guatemala City. Photographer and activist Daniel Hernández-Salazar kicks off the conference by coordinating a visit to important sites where photography helps memorialize the nation's turbulent and often violent history--one whose legacy is still present. Included among these sites are:
* The DNA Laboratoty of the Guatemalan Forensic Foundation (FAFG) 9:30am
* The Bone Laboratory of the FAFG. 11:00am
* The Guatemala National Police Historical Archive (AHPN). 14:00
* The Catholic Church Human Rights Bureau (ODHAG) 16:00
Participants in this tour are asked to stay overnight in Guatemala City on February 19th, 2014. A shuttle will transport participants to the conference hotel in Antigua after dinner on Feb. 20th.
February 21st-22nd. Conference presentations begin at 9am on February 21st and the event ends with an evening banquet.
February 23rd. Buffet breakfast and free day. No presentations.
More information at: http://inthedarkroom.org/coldwarcamera/conference
The Conference in pictures:
Start of the field trip at Forensic Anthropology Foundation bone laboratory. The carton boxes contain remains of people killed during the armed conflict.
Claudia Rivera, Director of the laboratory explains the analisys they conduct of the remains of a child who was found under the former Coban Military Base togeter with more than 200 other persons.
A technician explains the mouling procedure of samples of bone as part of the DNA identification process.
Listening the explanation at the DNA Forensic Anthropology Foundation laboratory.
At the start of the visit to the Museum of Martyrs participants to the conference see a video explaining the inteligence document "Military Dossier" which have helped proving the security forces responsability in kidnaps and assasinations of civilians during Guatemala's internal conflict.
A relative of one of the persons dissapeared during the war talks about the life of union lider Amancio Villatoro who's remains are in exhibition as a testimonial of the truth about the athrocities commited by Guatemalan security forces.
Visit to the Historical Archive of the National Police. this archive contains thousands of intelligence documents which have helped to follow legal cases against perpetrators of the disappearances and assasinations during the war.
The participants to Cold War Camera examine a book with photos of "delinquents" at the Police Archive.
Nery Rodenas, Director of the Catholic Church Human Rights Office explains the work they do to rescue Guatemala's Hictorical Memory.
Nery Rodenas, Director of the Catholic Church Human Rights Office explains the Guatemala Never Again truth report. Two days after presenting this report, the Director af that project Monsignor Juan Gerardi was assasinated by Guatemalan Army members.
The group walks towards the Metropolitan Cathedral to see the Names Memorial and Mons. Gerardi's tomb.The conference's sessions start at CIRMA in Antigua Guatemala.
Erina Dougane talks during the second day of the conference sessions.
The conclusions session right at the end of the conference.
Family shot at the end of Cold War Camera Conference in Antigua Guatemala.
An article about the conference:
SI HUBO GENOCIDIO
Against the backdrop of the trial that found former dictator and U.S. Cold War ally, Efraín Ríos Montt guilty of genocide, this singular photograph by Daniel Hernández-Salazar was emblazoned across sites in Guatemala City. “There was a genocide,” it proclaims. The trial which concluded in May 2013, found Ríos Montt responsible for the massacre of 1,771 people of the Ixil Mayan community and the forced displacement of 29,000 during his short term of office between 1982 and 1983.
Hernández-Salazar’s Angel of Memory first took shape in the Guatemalan photographer’s mind in July 1997. He was working with the Forensic Anthropology Foundation, when a bullet-perforated shoulder blade emerged from one of the clandestine mass graves being exhumed at a site at which nine peasants had been murdered by the Guatemalan military. In 1997, the country was just emerging from the official end, a year previously, of a brutal civil war, with its roots in the U.S.–backed coup that toppled the democratically-elected government of Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán in 1954. Hernández-Salazar enlarged and printed the wounded wing-like shoulder blades on the body of a young mestizo man, creating a photo-montage of four angels that dramatize the proverb “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
A year later, on 24 April 1998, the final report of the Recovery of Historical Memory, Guatemala: Nunca Más /Never Again was published, detailing 55,000 human rights violations that had taken place during the civil war. The Angels appeared on the front cover. Two days later, one of the report’s chief instigators, Bishop Juan Gerardi was bludgeoned to death. The thousands who took to the streets of Guatemala City in the silent demonstrations to mark Gerardi’s murder did so bearing posters of Hernández-Salazar’s photo-montage emblazoned with the words “Guatemala: Nunca Más”.
If the Angels took flight in 1998, their peregrinations have not ceased since. In April 1999, three dozen poster-size reproductions of the fourth angel that shouts out through cupped hands appeared across Guatemala’s capital, imploring the nation’s citizens to acknowledge and remember the injustices of the past: “Para que todos lo sepan” / “So that all shall know”. Nor has the flight been restricted to Guatemala. Hernández-Salazar has travelled with his angel to create photo-interventions that insert Guatemala’s violent past in key memory sites around the globe: from Auschwitz to Hiroshima, and elsewhere in Latin America, including the headquarters of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires and Tlatelolco, the site of the student massacre of 1968 in Mexico City.
Hailed as a landmark case, one that could potentially open the door to further prosecutions, just ten days after the original ruling, on 20 May 2013 Guatemala’s top constitutional court overturned the Ríos Montt genocide conviction. It annulled everything that had happened in the trial since 19 April when Ríos Montt was briefly left without a defence lawyer. At the time of writing, the case continues. And Daniel Hernández-Salazar’s angel continues to travel, proclaiming “Sí hubo genocidio.”