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3APP1055 - "Caravana de la muerte victims" Experiential memorial

3APP - 1055
Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo - UNIVERSIDAD DE CHILE / cl Chile
1 members
Fernando Contreras

Project type:
Cultural Y Espectáculos

Architecture for absence:
“Caravana de la muerte victims” Experiential Memorial.

“Even when feet step a thousand years on this site, they will not wipe the blood of those who here fell. And it will not extinguish the hour of your falling, even when a thousand voices go across this silence”...
- Pablo Neruda. “Always”.

In the last years of the twentieth century, after the coup d’état in 1973 and during Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship, a great number of human rights violations happened. Thousands of people were tortured, exiled, and some even murdered under estate orders. The study case is known as “Caravana de la Muerte” (the Caravan of Death) which consisted of a military retinue that travelled through the country leaving almost a hundred victims. Their passing through Calama is remembered as the most violent part, where the Atacama Desert was witness to the murder and hiding of the bodies of the prisoners.

The experiential memorial arises from the idea that architecture can establish a place of memory and experiences about the event, giving room to the atonement of the absence that is now present in the victims’ families. The primary objective is to create a vindicating place for the country’s collective memory. The memorial is thought in two different scales. The first one is territorial, and refers to the consolidation of a part of the Atacama Desert as a place for confirmation, interpretation, and memory. The second one is at human scale, and consists of the memorial space as a group of different experiences: the first three emulate the most crucial moments of the prisoners, and the last gives consolation to the families’ victims. They are the capture, the torture, the death and finally, the atonement.

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