The Ghosts of Chicureo: Living among the dead in the street of Colina, Santiago, Chile

Successive experiences of relatives of the disappeared in the last military dictatorship in Argentina made me pay attention, in the framework of my previous investigations, to the dead and their relationship with the living. When I arrived in Chile and I realized that several neighbors where I live had intimate experiences with ghosts, I asked myself again about the many situations in which the dead still participate in the daily life of the living. The most obvious differences, between the ghosts in the case of the disappeared and the ghosts of Chicureo, are that in the first case the experiences are from adults and the relationship between the living and the dead are founded exclusively on the basis of violent death of their loved ones. In the cases of the residents of Chicureo, the children communicate with the dead of others, that is, losses that belong to others. The objective of this essay, along with exposing my first approaches to the subject, is to find dialogue’s places with social sciences works that put the center of attention on the dead’s agency.

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