2019 - 2022
San José, Costa Rica
Castle of Innocence delves into the building of the Children's Museum of Costa Rica - an imaginative museum space dedicated to children's education through interactive and colorful scenarios - and its cultural heritage as the country's former central prison.
By working with archive material from the prison era and different environments and objects from the museum, the project questions the role of power structures in the construction of historical narratives, and the use of photography as a document of truth.
Both the prison and museum are institutions designed to contain physical or symbolic representations of collective identities. In this regard, the project merges both spaces in a nonlinear narrative to confront the imprints of trauma and violence from the building's past as a prison with the illusory atmospheres in the museum's current context.
Because of the secrecy and ominous nature of the prison, there are a lot of gaps and absent information, therefore, in its retelling, many stories carry both factual details and myths, provoking the boundaries between reality and fiction to start to dissolve.
In the same way, the children's museum uses storytelling devices and imagination to educate on different themes including historical events such as the prison's past through replicas of prison cells from various periods.
These parallelisms allow for a reflection on the multiple tensions, reoccurrences, and contradictions that concern the dissemination of knowledge, history, and collective memory, whereas it also provides ground to examine the liminal space between protection and control in our current post-truth era.
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