The University Libraries Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections recently teamed up with the Albuquerque Museum on the exhibition, "Dictators and the Disappeared: Democracy Lost and Restored” by loaning several collection items to be on display.

The exhibit delves deep into the turbulent history of South American countries during the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. A majority of the collections on display comes from the Sam L. Slick Collection of Latin American and Iberian Posters. This large collection contains posters from Cuba, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, and Spain among a few. CSWR has over 10,000 of these posters available in their archive. The posters address themes such as elections, imperialism, solidarity, human rights, and revolution.

Co-curated by Russ Davidson and Leslie Kim, this powerful exhibit aims to document the collapse of democratic governments and the rise of military dictatorships in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia, while highlighting the global fight to restore democracy in these regions.

“It has been such a joy to work with our Albuquerque Museum colleagues as they selected posters for the exhibit,” said Cindy Abel Morris, CSWR pictorial archivist.  “We have many researchers access our collections, and we don’t always see the end result of their work.  But to see these posters framed and on the walls, well, it really reinforces the value of preserving items in an archive.”

The exhibition will be on view at the Albuquerque Museum until February 11, 2024. Visitors are encouraged to engage with the compelling narrative that emerges from these captivating historical artifacts. "Dictators and the Disappeared: Democracy Lost and Restored" promises to be an educational and thought-provoking experience, reminding us of the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of safeguarding democratic freedoms.

The Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections at the University of New Mexico is dedicated to preserving and providing access to the historical and cultural records of the Southwest and Latin America. Its extensive collections serve as a vital resource for researchers, scholars, and the general public interested in the region's rich history and heritage.

Photo creditUnidentified artist, Villa Grimaldi: aquí se torturó a los detenidos desaparecidos (Villa Grimaldi: Here the Detained and Disappeared were Tortured), Chile, ca. 1983, cotton appliqué panel, 15 x 19 in., Chile Ephemera Collection (PICT 2012-011(3)-0002), CSWR, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.