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“2 de octubre no se olvida”: La (pos)memorializaci�n de Tlatelolco 68

  • Author(s): Becerra Garcia, Maricela Joshelyn
  • Advisor(s): van Delden, Maarten H
  • et al.
Abstract

This study analyzes the cultural production around the Tlatelolco student massacre of 1968 by focusing on materials produced after Mexican political changes in the 21st century. Most previous studies on the Tlatelolco massacre have explored the cultural production created immediately after 1968. However, contemporary memorialization processes have been understudied. Scholars have pointed to the critical role that the cultural production plays in the Tlatelolco massacre emphasizing state censorship and oppression. I define this as the first wave of representations that had an urgency to denounce the violent events of 1968 since the state maintained its version. In my dissertation, I argue that there is a rupture between this first wave of production and a second one starting around the turn of the century. A crucial turning point occura in 2000, when the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) lost the presidential elections for the first time in 71 years. I show that the re-interpretation and dissection of the first wave of representations is necessary for the continuation of the memory, and that topics such as trauma and healing can only be explored through the lens of post-memory. The second wave, while also denouncing the massacre, explores other aspects not previously considered such as post-memory, new narrative techniques necessary in memory formation, and ways of overcoming trauma.

My dissertation analyzes several fictional and testimonial novels, short stories, films, and historical documents, with a focus on texts produced in the 21st century. The introductory chapter highlights the political processes that have influenced and changed collective memory of the Taltelolco massacre. The second chapter examines Luis Gonz�lez de Alba’s conflicting testimonies in his texts Los d�as y los a�os (1971), Otros d�as y otros a�os (2008), and Tlatelolco, aquella tarde (2016). Gonz�lez de Alba challenges the collective memory through multiple revisions of his first-person account. In the third chapter I establish that by presenting post-memory characters, Carlos Fuentes in Los a�os con Laura D�az (1999) and Mar�a Amparo Escand�n in Transportes Gonz�lez e Hija (2005), are able to delve into the transition between trauma and healing processes that the first wave of representations of the massacre is unable to. The fourth chapter analyzes the role of the genre of horror fiction in the contemporary representations of the massacre through the short story “La otra noche de Tlatelolco” (2014) by Bernardo Esquinca. As a member of the post-memory generation, Esquinca re-interprets the night of the massacre into familiar forms by recreating the chaotic and frightening feelings that younger generations are unable to experience otherwise. Lastly, the fifth chapter examines Borrar de la memoria (2010) by Alfredo Gurrola, the first film about Tlatelolco that was not actively censored by the state. I illustrate that while this film portrays the violent role of the State, they also reinforce a romanticized representation of the massacre.

My research contributes to the memorialization of the Tlatelolco massacre by highlighting the on-going fight for justice and the role of post-memory in recent representations of the massacre. The dissertation captures the political shifts in Mexico from the 20th to the 21st century embodied in the cultural production of Tlatelolco 68. The historical context of this work culminates on the eve of another significant presidential election in Mexico and the 50th anniversary of the massacre.

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