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Building an archive of conflicting memories: A history of Carlos Casado's tannin factory in Paraguay (1889-2001) (ARCHFACT)
Start date: 28 Aug 2014, End date: 27 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The aim of the project is to narrate the history of the Casado S.A. tannin factory in Puerto Casado (Paraguay) from 1889 to 2000, from the point of view of the different social social groups that were the protagonists of this history: the ex-workers, the Salesian missionaries, the Casado-Sastre family and the descendents of the Argentinean managers and technicians. The factory, that was sold in 2000 to the Reverend Moon’s Unification Church, is today an object of legal contention between the ex-factory workers (partially supported by the Paraguayan state) and the Church.What makes this history particularly interesting is that half of the factory working force, since the late 19th century, was composed by indigenous people. By narrating the history of the factory, I also aim at analysing the relationship between the different groups that worked in it for almost one century. In order to do this, the project will incorporate the use of design tools as a key element of the research, and in particular: a web archive and an exhibition. In fact, since the beginning of the research fieldwork I will produce a web archive on the history of the factory where I will upload the video-interview, pictures and documents in order to receive immediate feedback from the local people and to stimulate their participation in the project. Second, I will design an exhibition that will be implemented in collaboration with local and national authorities. Through the use of design tools, the debate on the value of factory as ‘industrial heritage’ or ‘common good’, and the role of indigenous people in contributing to the economic development of the country will be brought to public attention. Moreover, the reconstruction of a common history might foster a dialogue between the indigenous and the non-indigenous part of the population in Puerto Casado, a relationship that is today characterized by many tensions."
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