Seminar | Declassifying the Archive

Declassifying the Archive: Art, Visual Documentation, and Human Rights
Post-Dictatorship Chile 40 Years after the Miliary Coup

New York University
September 10–11, 2013

In 1999 the US Department of State launched the “Chile Declassification Project,” an initiative that publicly released declassified documents related to the 1973 military coup. The turn towards declassification marked a new era of accessibility in which once-secret information would be digitally launched into public circulation. During the last decade, the release of these documents has sparked new debates about human rights and the management of historical evidence.

Approaching the commemorative date of September 11th as an opportunity to reflect on the visual post-dictatorship memory landscape, this seminar seeks to create an interdisciplinary space for reflecting on the aftereffects of declassification and the role that visual archival traces play in the production of social memory. How are the rights to see and know expressed in an era when accessibility to knowledge has been increased but ironically not guaranteed by the simple act of making things public? How is the global circulation of human rights discourses affecting how we envision the right to see and access information? For more information & texts, please visit: .


Tuesday 9/10, 6–8 pm
Book Presentation & Discussion

A conversation among artists, researchers, and documentarians regarding themes showcased in the exhibition and book, Human Rights / Copy Rights: Visual Archives in the Age of Declassification curated and edited by Cristián Gómez-Moya (Vice-rectory of Research and Development, Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Chile).

Invited Speakers:

José Falconi | Art Forum, Harvard
Peter Kornbluh | National Security Archive
Susan Meiselas | Magnum Photo Agency
Fred Ritchin | Photography & Imaging, New York University


Diana Taylor | Hemispheric Institute, New York University

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings.
Reception to follow

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player Video: Victor Bautista

Wednesday 9/11, 12–2 pm
Researcher Roundtable

A roundtable discussion about declassification within the broader context of post-dictatorship Latin America. Presentations will examine multiple visual mechanisms through which secret documentation is made publicly accessible while considering visuality, art practice, and local conceptualizations of human rights. Debate and discussion to follow.


Cristián Gómez-Moya | University of Chile
Lee Elizabeth Douglas | New York University

King Juan Carlos Center
53 Washington Square South, Room 404W

This event is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings. Presentations will be in both English & Spanish.

Sponsoring Institutions—NYU:

Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics
Center for Media, Culture and History
Gallatin School of Individualized Studies
Program of Museum Studies
Department of History
King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center

Sponsoring Institutions—Chile:

Vice-Rectory of Research & Development
Artistic Creation Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC)
Department of Design
Faculty of Architecture & Urbanism
University of Chile

International Contributors:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, with the support of DICOEX
Consulate of Chile in New York