The Politics and Aesthetics of Memory Chair

Memories in Neglect

From 14 September to 8 October 2020 (check programme) / Sabatini Building, Auditorium and online platform

Graffitti of the protests in the streets of Santiago de Chile, 2020. Micodibujante. Author: Alberto Valdez
Graffitti of the protests in the streets of Santiago de Chile, 2020. Micodibujante. Author: Alberto Valdez

Curated by Chilean theorist Nelly Richard, the Politics and Aesthetics of Memory Chair articulates different initiatives of training, research and public activities in the Museo Reina Sofía. This programme of analysis and reflection — put together at the crossroads between the aesthetic, the theoretical, the critical and the political — conceives of memory as an agent with which to decipher and re-read incomplete narratives, the fragments and scenes of which continue to question the present; memory that transmits the expressive power of struggles and frustrations, becoming renewed aspirations for change.    

The social uprisings surfacing across the globe, the crisis to the capitalist system laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and the exceptional situations that modify as much the behaviour of States as the social order, presented to us as democracy, form today’s grounds to reflect on bodies and the economy, life and capital, destruction and preservation, subjectivity and institutionality, violence and language, memories of experience and creative imagination.   

On this occasion, the Chair programme comprises a two-session online seminar, conducted by Nelly Richard, a film series subdivided into five programmes, including a conversation between film-maker Carmen Castillo and Nelly Richard, and a closing lecture by Judith Butler.

Education programme developed with the sponsorship of the    Santander Fundación


The Plaza Baquedano taken in the protests that took place in Santiago de Chile, 2019

Monday 21 and 28 September 2020 – 4pm / Zoom

Imaginaries of Revolt, Archive of Life, and Experience Reshaped from the Pandemic

Online seminar conducted by Nelly Richard

Admission: free, until full capacity is reached, with prior registration.

This seminar explores the social unrest which, from October 2019, shook Chile, causing the biggest crisis to its political system since the return to democracy in 1990. Further, it examines the different dynamics of “revolt” — disobedience, transgression, insurrection, etc. — that have occurred in this and other countries in recent times and which have been interrupted by the pandemic. Given that protests against the regime of inequality and social injustice established by neoliberal hegemony have decelerated, how can their archive be reinterpreted from confinement?   

Further information

Carmen Castillo. Calle Santa Fe. Film, 2007. Les Films d'Ici Copyright .

From14 September to 4 October 2020 – 7pm / Sabatini Building, Auditorium

Memory’s Re-volts

Documentary Film in the Aftermath of Dictatorships in Spain, Chile and Argentina

Admission: free, until full capacity is reached

By way of documentary and essay films, this series sets forth different ways of approaching memory to explore the different zones of conflict between subjectivity and politics; between militancy and revolution; between critical sexualities and gender transformations; between memory and democracy; between social defiance, constituent drives and tasks to reinvent the present.

Further information

Frame from the interview with Carmen Castillo. Elaa file. Paris, 2015

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 – 7pm / Zoom

Memories of a Rebel

Conversation between Carmen Castillo and Nelly Richard

Link to Zoom
Access code: 932485

Chilean-born Carmen Castillo is a film-maker and former activist in MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement). Exiled in Paris during the years of the military dictatorship, she shot a number of films that thread together a unique and powerful body of work that eschews nostalgia and hegemonic narratives. Moreover, Castillo continually probes the nature of political commitment and the possibilities of realigning the “world’s deadly path”.

To Exist is to Resist. Tulkarem (Palestine), 2006. ©MAYSUN

Thursday, 8 October 2020 – 7pm / Zoom

The Powers of Memory in the Little Things

A lecture by Judith Butler

Admission: free, until full capacity is reached

To close out this new edition of the Chair, Judith Butler gives a lecture on the idea of memory outside hegemonic readings of history, drawing from mottos/slogans, poems, posters, excerpts from texts, and materials that look to concisely transmit something lost from the past. 

Further information

  • Admission:

    Online seminar: full capacity reached
    Film series and conversation: free, until full capacity is reached
    Online closing lecture: free, until full capacity is reached


    Online seminar: 4pm
    Film series and conversation: 7pm
    Online closing lecture: 7pm


    Nelly Richard

    Organized by:

    Museo Reina Sofía


    The Politics and Aesthetics of Memory Chair

    Force line:

    Politics and Aesthetics of Memory

    Education programme developed with the sponsorship of the Banco Santander Foundation