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A Eulogy For The Coloso: The Politics Of Commemoration In Calderón’s Mexico

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Artículo de revistaWeinstein, Tania Islas. A Eulogy For The Coloso: The Politics Of Commemoration In Calderón’s MexicoIn  Visual Culture and Violence in Contemporary Mexico Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, 2015 vol. 24 no. 4 p. 475-499. Palabras claves:
Política, Administración pública | Seguridad y Defensa
Commemorations, monuments, public art, public sphere, transition to democracy, violence, Mexico


In 2010, ten years after Mexico’s so-called ‘transition to democracy,’ the country commemorated two hundred years of independence and one hundred years of revolution. To celebrate, the state spent nearly 230 million dollars on diverse sites of memory, mass spectacles, and works of art. These commemorative projects, including the controversial, gigantic statue dubbed the Coloso, triggered extensive debates that addressed the country’s myriad contemporary political issues. These discussions revealed a growing disappointment with electoral democracy and an increasing anxiety about the war on the drug trade launched by president Felipe Calderón. The state’s manifestation of power during the celebrations was paradoxically seen as a reminder of its inability to curb the growing violence, and the commemorations were widely regarded as a failure. This paper examines this failure by analyzing how the Coloso generated political discourses that fostered new forms of resistance and critique. Soon after its display, the statue was abandoned and inadvertently became an ephemeral monument. This paper argues that the literal rise and fall of the Coloso is symptomatic of the state’s increasing inability to control the nation’s symbolic landscape.

Ceisal Redial © REDIAL & CEISAL. Responsabilidad editorial: Araceli García Martín - AECID (Madrid, España),
Jussi Pakkasvirta - Ceisal (Helsinki, Finlandia).
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