Since October 2006, the Brown Bag is a luncheon seminar series held on designated Fridays during the regular sessions from 12:00 pm – 12:55 pm in the Mauro Institute Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College.
The lectures are approximately 35 minutes in length, followed by a discussion period. The lectures are free to attend and open to students, staff, faculty and members of the public. Don’t forget to bring your bagged lunch!
The Guatemala Studio: Truth and Reconciliation after ‘La Violencia’
Friday February 14, 2020 | 12:00 pm
Mauro Institute Boardroom, 252 St. Paul’s College, University of Winnipeg
A lecture with Professor Ralph Stern, Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba
In the twentieth century, Guatemala has been defined by a series of military dictatorships punctuated by attempts at social, agrarian, and political reform. In 1954, however, the C.I.A.-assisted coup against the democratically elected and reformist government of Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz thrust Guatemala into a downward spiral of ever increasing violence against its civilian population. Plagued by shadowy paramilitary forces acting against union leaders, leftist politicians, and student activists, by the early 1980s La Violencia evolved into a full-blown scorched earth policy undertaken by President Ríos Montt and the Guatemalan military against the Indigenous Maya population. Officially regarded by the Guatemalan and United States governments as a ‘counterinsurgency’ against leftist guerillas, the impact on the Maya was devastating: the Guatemalan military conducted more than 600 massacres and the total number killed amounted to 200,000 and a further 40,000 ‘disappeared’. More than eighty percent of the victims were Mayan.
The Guatemala Studio seeks to create a Museum of Truth and Memory as a site in which the phrase Nunca Mas, Never Again, can find meaningful architectural expression. Unlike Argentina or Chile, Guatemala has not memorialized its past through architectural form. Working together with faculty and students from Unversidad Rafael Landívar, a group of architecture students traveled to Guatemala in October 2019 to engage the peoples, cultures, and issues confronting Guatemala today. This presentation gives an overview of Guatemala’s history, and the experiences, endeavors, and hopes that students from the University of Manitoba have for Guatemala’s future.