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Thursday, May 16 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
46. Flying over the Walls of Resistance: About Virtualization Strategies, Conservation and Memories of the Borgoño Quarter

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Over 1,100 places have been identified as centers for detention, torture, and systematic killing, during the civic-military dictatorship in Chile. But several of these were transformed or demolished, living a little of its memory in the urban layout for the citizen. The Borgoño Quarter is one of those.

This architectural complex was the dictatorship agencies headquarter, and for 10 years hundreds of people were tortured, detained and/or forced disappeared between its walls. Its main building was already demolished and replaced. In 2016, thanks to survivors and relatives of the victims, the demolition of another building was stopped, achieving its declaration as a historical monument-memory site. However, the Investigation Police- owner of the land since dictatorship was ended- keep it abandoned, with restricted access due to the risk of collapse; argument for continuing the demolition project.

The association “Memoria Borgoño” requested to the National Center for Conservation and Restoration (CNCR), a diagnosis of the building state and evaluating the chance of an archaeological prospecting of the site. After two visits, the interdisciplinary team of the CNCR, which works in the matters of Conservation and Human Rights, pointed out that the displacement through the building was complex: there was no roof, and the interior division between the first and second floor was missing too. Most of the base was full of rubble and trash, which added to the great height of the walls, made difficult to understand the whole place, causing also a confusing photographic record.

Considering that, and the great size of the building (1653 m2), it was set a remote access with a drone (UAV), which flew over its interior and exterior parts. It allowed optimizing the limited time authorized for the visit, and made possible to go into the blocked spaces, registering more than 11,000 high-resolution aerial photograms. A selection of these was processed by photogrammetry (SfM-MVS), obtaining a 3D documentation of the building with a high level of details and metric precisions.

Including this technology in the documentation strategies, allowed to verify the persistence of the walls and interior spaces of the building, which was impossible to realize previously. This also permitted to visualize the whole floor plant and to explore the virtual rooms, in such a way as the survivors for the first time will be able to walk inside the building, locate themselves in the space and, eventually, recognize rooms where they were detained. Although the diagnosis of the structures is still pending, with this work a high degree of preservation of the inner distribution was evidenced, and since the victims were deprived of their senses when being detained, it is considered that the configuration of the floor plant could act as an activator of memory, giving some lights for the archaeological prospection, in order to seek traces that may be under the painted layers of the walls; and with it, to get more information that helps to avoid further “erasing practices” of this part of our history and heritage that is materialized in memory sites.”

avatar for Daniela Bracchitta

Daniela Bracchitta

Conservator, Centro Nacional de Conservacion y Restauracion
I hold a Bachelor degree in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, from the International University SEK. Since then, I have been specializing in Conservation of the Archeological record, followed by the participation as a main conservator in diverse field projects in... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Uncas Ballroom Foyer Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun