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  HOME | Mexico

Memorial and Museum of Social Movements Opens in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY – A permanent multimedia exposition of the 1968 student movement and the legacy of citizens’ rights that began to be formed in Mexico that year was inaugurated Friday in the capital’s Tlatelolco University Cultural Center (CCUT).

The museum holds the digital archive “M68, Citizens on the Move” with free access to 100,000 digitized programs including documents, photos, manuscripts and interviews.

“This hybrid of a museum, an interactive space and a vast digital collection, comes with a message: social movements, when people come together and get organized, can achieve similar social transformations, sometimes more decisive than you’d get through political or institutional changes,” the expo curator Luis Vargas Santiago told EFE.

The curator said the museum “is a place where documents of history, art and technology help us reflect and come up with new strategies for building a better country.”

On show in the space of 1,700 sq. meters (18,000 sq. feet) are more than 1,000 objects in 32 different theme groups, in which can be appreciated a mixture of art, history and montages on digital devices.

The expo can be toured in two ways. The first is with the 1968 student movement and subsequent massacre, with its exceptional installations by Chilean artist Voluspa Jarpa and the Mexican Plinio Avila.

The second is a tour of the transforming social movements of the 1970s.

Jarpa shows facsimiles of the 68 movement’s documents provided by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Mexico’s Federal Directorate of Security.

Avila, on the other hand, parodied the theories of a treasonable plot, the government’s paranoia and its identifying the students as enemies of the people.

Also noteworthy is an interactive model of Tlatelolco that reconstructs the student massacre minute by minute.

The 1968 Mexican student movement started that summer in protest against the repression of social movements by the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz government, and was characterized by weeks of social movements and massive demonstrations.

In October 1968, thousands of students organized to protest the authoritarianism of the Mexican government under the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which repressed the movement to avoid disturbances during the Olympic Games, which were contested between Oct. 12-27, 1968.

On Oct. 2 of that year, the movement was crushed by the military when the army and the paramilitary Olympia Battalion opened fire on a student gathering in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas of Tlatelolco, leaving more than 300 dead, according to figures provided by eyewitnesses.

 

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