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Research Projects

Project Title Description Members
Declaring Pain as Cultural Heritage: the Kiss Nightclub Memorial (2018 – Present) This project seeks to analyze the discussions in relation to cultural heritage surrounding the tragedy of the Kiss nightclub fire in Santa Maria, RS. On Sunday, January 27th, 2013, a fire caused the death of 242 party-goers and injured 600. The process of memorializing this tragedy began right after its occurrence and was characterized by varying public initiatives led by Associação de Vítimas da Tragédia da Boate Kiss (Kiss Nightclub Tragedy Victim´s Association). This particular project seeks to regain the memorial methods, placing emphasis on the process of conceiving the architectural and expographic dimensions of the Kiss Nightclub Memorial. Juliane Conceição Primon Serres (coordinator); Maria Leticia Mazzucchi Ferreira; Virginia Vecchiolli (UFSM); Darlan De Mamann Marchi; Danilo A Rangel; Leonardo Monteiro Alves.
Tourism in Places of Memory: Risks and Challenges (2017 – Present) This Project aims to continue the investigative initiative that began in 2014 about the origination, reception and public attendance of Latin American Museums of Memory, which itself was an extension of a 2011 project about museums and communities. This current project seeks to study the impacts of the installment of Museums of Memory within the urban landscape as tourist attractions and the relations that are interposed in the social space in which these Museums exist. The field of study of this project entails Memory Museums in the Latin American context. Three categories of museum institutions will be analyzed: Museums located in places where acts of violence occurred; Museums that have a theme of violence in all its forms and expressions, not necessarily associated with one particular historical event; Museums conceived around specific violent processes that currently ongoing. Maria Leticia Mazzucchi Ferreira (coordinator); Juliane Conceição Primon Serres; Rita Juliana Poloni; Eduardo Jordão Knack; Darlan De Mamann Marchi; Guilherme Ribeiro Correa;

Museums of Memory in the MERCOSUR Region: Dilemmas and conflicts surrounding representation of the past (2013 – Present)


This project aims to trace the paths of Museums of Memory in the MERCOSUL region, understand the inclusion (or not) of these Museums in current debates about violence and Human Rights, reflect on the communication methods employed, and identify the dynamics of reception and resonance of these Museums with their public.

Maria Leticia Mazzucchi Ferreira (coordinator); Juliane Conceição Primon Serres; Rita Juliana Poloni; Darlan De Mamann Marchi; Carolina Nogueira; Leonardo Monteiro Alves;


Cultural Heritage in Places of Suffering: The dilemmas of transmission (2018 – Present) The research project titled ” Cultural Heritage in Places of Suffering: The dilemmas of transmission” is an extension of a larger project dealing with Museums of Memory. The formation process of these Museums is anchored in a wider understanding of Memory and Cultural Heritage. In this perspective, based on reflections on the ways in which Museums of Memory operate in the construction of narratives about a past that is difficult to transmit, this project grows into a new field of analysis, re-examining processes of declaration of Cultural Heritage and the management of what is understood to be difficult expressions of Cultural Heritage, represented, for the purposes of this project, as those associated with politically-motivated violence, to spaces of internment and isolation, and to sites of traumatic events. In the first line of research are the processes of declaration as cultural heritage of places that were the scenes of political violence that characterized the last civic-military dictatorship in Brazil (1964-1985), identified detention centers for political prisoners and torture: Ilha das Pedras Brancas/Ilha do Presídio in Rio Guaíba and the Centro de Memória IcoLisboa, in Porto Alegre. The second line of research analyzes the process of declaration as Cultural Heritage of the century-old São Pedro Psychiatric Hospital in Porto Alegre. The third line of research is in regards to the Kiss Nightclub´s declaration as cultural heritage and transformation into a memorial in Santa Maria, RS. Maria Leticia Mazzucchi Ferreira (coordinator); Danilo Amparo Rangel; Juliane C Primon Serres; Darlan de Mamann Marchi; Leonardo Alves Monteiro.

Survey and systematization of information about Museums of Memory in the Americas (2018 – Present)




It is possible to observe that worldwide there is a proliferation of memorial inscriptions upon the urban landscape, such as Sites of Conscience, monuments, memorials, museums, and other institutions dedicated to the communication of memories related to collective traumatic processes, above all in relation to political regimes characterized by  State-sponsored terrorism and Human Rights violations, such as the Latin American dictatorships of the past four decades. The quest for truth and the sense of memory as justice and reparation, are the organizing principles of these institutions that are at the center of policies that are part of government agendas, processes of musealization and declaration of cultural heritage of spaces of suffering such as detention centers.

As Paul Williams (2007) points out, Word War Two, on introducing the category of mass extermination, brought on new memorial methods as epitomized in spaces dedicated to victims, such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (1955) as a space to acknowledge the memory of the explosion of the atomic bomb, as well as Yad Vashem (1953) in Jerusalem, as a memorial to the Holocaust.

Maria Letícia Mazzucchi Ferreira (coordinator); Rita Juliana Soares Poloni; Juliane Conceição Primon Serres; Mariana Boujadi Silva; Jose Andreas Curbelo; Carolina Gomes Nogueira.
Archaeology, memories, cultural heritage and dictatorships: Compared perspectives (2016 – Present) The current research project aims to identify the relations between scientific production in the field of Archaeology and Social Memory, as well as cultural heritage discourse, within the contexts of authoritarian governments by employing comparative perspectives, both national and international. Engaging in dialogue with the theories of Anthropology of Science this project intends to map out the human networks of scientific production, attempting to understand the specific social and political contexts that (re)construct and produce discourse surrounding memorials and cultural heritage. This project also seeks to reveal the conditions of the scientific production analyzed to be able to identify its unique productive processes, highlighting underground memories and cultural heritage related to silenced social groups. Lastly, the project aims to place in perspective the varying networks established within the interiors of the contexts of archaeological scientific production (both national and international) as a way to make evident the similarities and differences between those contexts.

Rita Juliana Soares Poloni (coordinator); Juliane Conceição Primon Serres; Maria Leticia Mazzucchi Ferreira.


Hospital Colônia Itapuã: Memory and Cultural Heritage in Debate


The project proposes to discuss the importance, in terms of cultural heritage, of the Hospital Colônia Itapuã, a leper colony built in 1940 in the municipality of Viamão, Rio Grande do Sul.

The hospital is currently in a process of de-activation and there is a general concern surrounding the preservation of its memory, as well as the importance of the possibility that the site could be declared cultural heritage.

Juliane Conceição Primon Serres (coordinator); Daniele Borges Bezerra.


Extension Projects

Project Title Description Members

Curation and Uses of the Kiss Nightclub Memorial – Santa Maria RS (2019 – Present)


The project of creating the memorial to the victims of the Kiss Nightclub tragedy, in Santa Maria, RS, seeks to develop the museum space of the Memorial, which will be integrated into the memorial´s architectural space, whose design was selected in 2017 as part of a contest carried out by the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB-RS), whom also proposed the memorial´s mission and working strategy. The project proposes to work together with the Associação das Vítimas da Tragédia de Santa Maria (AVTSM) in carrying out this project, which will have an important impact in the city and the nation. Questions surrounding the methods to narrate the tragedy and its present implications, the social uses of the Memorial and its function within the city, guide the entire project.

The primary proposal is that, by way of the Memorial, Santa Maria would become a youth-friendly city, in the perspective of being an educational city, transforming the harmful effects of the tragedy, such as the loss of human life, into tools to develop awareness of respect for human lives, and a myriad of connected initiatives related with public policy dealing with young people.

Juliane Conceição Primon Serres (coordinator); Maria Leticia Mazzucchi Ferreira; Danilo Aparecido Rangel; Virginia Susana Vecchioli (UFSM);