Salt in the Sand


Salt in the Sand: Memory, Violence, and the Nation-State in Chile, 1890
to the Present

Lessie Jo Frazier
2007, Duke University Press
389 pages

MEMORY is an important feature of political culture, and its manipulation a key attribute of all forms of government. Taking northern Chile – a region of great and often symbolic importance within the country throughout its national history, not least for the mass grave uncovered there in the 1990s during the shift to democracy – Lessie Jo Frazier theorises how memory functions to generate subjectivities that underpin specific political projects. The author demonstrates the interplay between memory and state violence in the formation of the Chilean nation, challenging the official discourse that the 1973 coup, for example, was an aberration in an otherwise peaceful democratic evolution. Salt in the Sand explores the competing uses of memory – the past – across political, class and cultural lines, revealing above all that this is fundamentally a dynamic category forever put to different uses by rival groups. – GJ

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