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Excavating MemorySites of Remembering and Forgetting$
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Maria Theresia Starzmann and John R. Roby

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061603

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061603.001.0001

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Land of Amnesia

Land of Amnesia

Power, Predation, and Heritage in Central Africa

(p.131) 6 Land of Amnesia
Excavating Memory

Alfredo González-Ruibal

University Press of Florida

Critical heritage studies, indigenous archaeologies, and similar undertakings attempt to recover the repressed memories and experiences of subaltern groups, as well as to deconstruct hegemonic discourses of the past. Thus far, the emphasis has been on remembrance of the powerful and the disempowered. This chapter focuses on the production of oblivion rather than memory, and on the political reasons behind amnesic societies. It investigates what happens when a political regime does not mobilize the past to legitimate its present rule but completely annihilates memory. González-Ruibal asks, What remains when a dictatorship has been so systematic and violent that alternative memories have been thoroughly shattered? Based on a case study in Equatorial Guinea, González-Ruibal explores how the long-term work of domination under different politico-economic regimes has severely damaged collective memory and ended up producing an “anti-heritage.”

Keywords:   Heritage, Equatorial Guinea, Collective Memory, Dictatorship, Hegemony

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