• The quandaries of digital methodologies as a reflection of a colonial society: The (de)colonial memory project

    Rafael Capó García (see profile)
    Global Digital Humanities Symposium
    Caribbean Area, History, Imperialism, Intersectionality (Sociology), Public art
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    Global Digital Humanities Symposium
    Conf. Org.:
    Michigan State University
    Conf. Loc.:
    Conf. Date:
    Caribbean history, Colonialism, Intersectionality, Mapping
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    Among the most biased aspects of history is the concept of memory. What do we remember? How do we remember? When do we forget? Should we forget? Remembering where we’ve come from, and complicating the past, is essential in continuing our journey through this world but the politics of commemoration often sidetracks our identity and attempts to impose a monolith in place of our ontological plurality. How can we reappropriate the ability to remember and forget when this authority has always been in the hands of those in power? Decoloniality inspects and reassesses our politics of commemoration. To decolonize our past, present and future requires that we reflect on what we think we know about our roots and heritage, and requires critical analysis of where our ideas of identity and personhood originate. Public spaces, as integral aspects of our daily lives and relationships to local and global communities, provide critical material for memory work. Town centers in Puerto Rico are full of these discursive works of public art that tell us how to remember our shared history by reminding us of who we actually are. Our presentation will share the findings of our digital humanities initiative titled the (De)colonial Memory Project, an interactive map of the commemorative landscape in Puerto Rico. We will present the methodologies and theoretical frameworks that have guided our mapping of colonial monuments, and the different quandaries we have faced throughout this process. We will focus on explaining the process of mapping and discuss how the process of visually organizing the data itself complicates issues around decoloniality, race, and gender. The obstacles we have faced provide important insights into not only the construction of race and identity, but also the field of digital humanities itself as we have grappled with digital dilemmas that overlap and intersect with real world structural issues.
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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