Objects as battlefields in the struggle for civil rights: The archaeology and analysis of contemporary material culture and heritage in Chile

Dafna Goldschmidt Levinsky, Javiera Letelier Cosmelli


In October of 2019 began, as a manifestation of growing discontent, in Santiago de Chile a movement of social protests popularly known as “Estallido social”. This movement marched against social inequality and high cost of living, targeting the neoliberal system established during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet as responsible. Although Chile has been a democracy since 1990, inequality and social injustice has perpetuated  in democracy. We reflect on the role of the contemporary objects, their contexts and the position of archaeology in revealing current struggle discourse of civil rights, social diversity and social conflicts. Likewise, we analyze the transformation process of cultural heritage meanings through time, observable both in the appropriation of quotidian objects as way as protest as the resignification of the traditional monuments erected in the city.


Protest; Chile; contemporary material culture; heritage

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23914/ap.v11i0.288


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