Class Began today with a presentation by Rodriko on the Venezuelan refugee crisis. The crisis is caused by multiple factors, including rampant inflation and political conflict in Venezuela. The destinations of the refugees was discussed, as was the reception of the refugees by the locals of these destinations. Professor Holt described how, in places such as Brazil, refugees had originally been welcomed by the locals, but animosity has grown as more refugees arrive, putting a strain on social services. After the presentation, we listened to the song “Cacerolazo” and talked about how it relates to the original march of pots and pans. We analyzed a picture of that march, and discussed what stood out about it. Professor Holt then discussed historiography, and compared the approaches of different historians on the writing of history.
After this we broke into groups to discuss Dr. Power’s analysis of support among Chilean women for the Pinochet regime. The analysis asked why women of many different backgrounds supported the regime, and how did they go from apolitical to politicized right-wing advocates. The main reason it asked these questions was because many previous historians researching supporters of Pinochet’s regime dismissed these women as having the same motives and beliefs, when in reality they were a very large and diverse group, and are very important in understanding why Pinochet stayed in power for so long.
Some key terms and historical figures we discussed include:
- Historiography – The study of processes and methods historians use in the writing of history. KH: Here is the link to the definition I shared in class from Alpha History
- Lucia Hiriart – Political activist and first lady of Chile during Pinochet’s regime. Her activism involved communicating the regime’s view of the apolitical “ideal woman” to the population, and later mobilizing women in support of the “Si” vote in the 1988 plebiscite.
- Cacerolazo – a form of protest involving the banging of pots, pans, and other kitchen implements.
- How much influence did Lucia Hiriart and the Pinochet regime have over the ideology of women, and the Chilean population in general? why?
- What are some possible reasons for the belief among some historians that female supporters of Pinochet were a homogenous group with similar motives and values, when, as Dr. Powers describes, they had many different backgrounds and reasons for their support?
- Did the policies of Lucia Hiriart, and the regime in general, result in an increase or decrease of political influence and involvement among women?