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Cuadernos de antropología social

versión On-line ISSN 1850-275X


JIMENO, Myriam. After the massacre: Memory as historical knowledge. Cuad. antropol. soc. [online]. 2011, n.33, pp. 39-52. ISSN 1850-275X.

Why recall experiences of violence? Why do we, as anthropologists, inquire about painful stories? Can ethnography foster personal and collective reconstruction in societies that have experienced traumatic events? From what point of view is memory of traumatic life events constructed, and how is the narrative of memory interwoven in games of power and subordination on the one hand, and counter hegemony and self-affirmation, on the other? These questions are addressed by reflecting on a massacre that took place in Colombia in 2001: the Naya massacre. The article explores the use of ethnography to understand the way in which a group of people affected by this event reconfigure the meaning of life and inscribe what happened in certain cognitive-emotional schemes. In this process, the anthropologist's inquiry is more than a means of recovering the past; it becomes part of the action of reconstruction itself, due to the relationship that is established between the anthropologist and the participants: a reciprocal social affective tie that is projected on to the social action of both.

Palabras clave : Ethnography; Memory; Violence; Victims; Social recomposition.

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