Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Ángela Castillo-Ardila

Reader 2

Gabriela Morales

Reader 3

Michelle Berenfeld

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Rights Information

© 2024 Diego P Borgsdorf


The civic-military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) represented a period of unprecedented political violence in Chile — a time in which the government of the socialist president Salvador Allende was overthrown in a bloody coup d’etat, army and police forces detained and tortured people suspected of affiliation with leftist activism, and hundreds of thousands of people were exiled from national territory. Post-dictatorship transitional governments have materialized a contested apparatus of institutions with the purpose of memorializing the victims of such violence, principal among them being the memorial museum. Based on ethnographic and collections research as a worker in the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, I draw from theoretical contributions in new materialism, affect theory, representational theory, and critical infrastructure studies to propose a new way to understand the Chilean memorial museum: affective infrastructure. This thesis is an argument for understanding the Chilean memorial museum as the milieu where converging feelings about the post-dictatorship are acted out. Such feelings occur in the encounter between objects and audiences and take diverging forms, often being suspicious, joyful, or memorial. This contentious emotional texture shows how the post-dictatorship’s affective regime is an unfinished political project, meaning that affective infrastructures do not simply replicate statist ideologies about the transition, but rather, serve as sites of affective transformation, intensity, and controversy. My project focuses on the history of such affective regimes in the post-dictatorship, the indexical representations of political violence offered by rubble and objects associated with exile, and the role of affective infrastructure in de/centralization. These explorations help to project an emotional topography of the post-dictatorship using matter.


Embargo - 6 months

Available for download on Thursday, November 28, 2024