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Postcards from Chile and Images from an Archive: Lighting the Nitrate of the 1973 Coup

School of Humanities, University of Brighton, Brighton BN2 1RA, UK
Humanities 2018, 7(4), 115;
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 19 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pictures and Conflicts since 1945)
PDF [5387 KB, uploaded 12 November 2018]


This article examines a mass produced postcard image as a picture of conflict. It considers the postcard as a Benjaminian ‘prismatic fringe’ through which an archive can be viewed, wherein documents of the British trade in Chilean nitrate are juxtaposed with those of General Pinochet’s 1973 military coup. The archive itself is explored as a site of loss and its postcard, an unvarying idealisation, as a particularly problematic but powerful image that renders conflict out of sight. View Full-Text
Keywords: postcard; archive; conflict; nitrate; memory; trace; Chile postcard; archive; conflict; nitrate; memory; trace; Chile

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Purbrick, L. Postcards from Chile and Images from an Archive: Lighting the Nitrate of the 1973 Coup. Humanities 2018, 7, 115.

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