Alfonso Díaz Tovar

Alfonso Díaz Tovar is a social psychologist and visual anthropologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, currently a doctoral student in Anthropology from the Institute of Anthropological Research of this same institution. His work focuses on the social practices of commemoration and places of remembrance, specifically on the subject of forced disappearance in Mexico. He has directed different short documentaries, as well as television series on memory practices and cultural heritage. He is currently a Fellow of the CALAS network in Mexico with the Transition Landscapes project in cooperation with Anne Huffschmid and he is the coordinator of the RECO Collective.



Compilations (selection)

(In press). Alfonso Díaz Tovar y Paola Ovalle (coords): Lugares de memoria. Una década de guerra en México y la conmemoración de sus víctimas. Mexicali: Instituto de Investigaciones Culturales-Museo, UABC.

2016. Alfonso Díaz Tovar y Paola Ovalle (coords): RECO. Arte comunitario en un lugar de memoria. Mexicali: Instituto de Investigaciones Culturales-Museo, UABC.


Articles / Chapters (selection)

2018 (co-authored).  “Lugares marcados por la masacre. Memoria y resistencia en un contexto de violencia”. En: Mónica Ayala y Elizabeth García (coords.): Diversidad metodológica en las investigación psicosocial. Baja California / CDMX: UABC / SOMEPSO. 299-329.

2018. (co-authored). “Antimonumentos. Espacio público, memoria y duelo social en México”. En: Aletheia 9 (16).

2017 (co-authored). “Puntos Suspensivos: ¿Construcción colaborativa de un artefacto de memoria?”. En: Claudia Gordillo y Afra Mejía (coords.): Miradas urgentes: sujetos, estéticas y memorias en el documental latinoamericano contemporáneo. Barcelona: Editorial Foc. RevLat. Red de Estudios Visuales Latinoamericanos.

2015. “Prácticas de conmemoración de la Guerra Sucia en México”. Athenea Digital 15 (4). 197-221.

2015 (co-authored). “Kunst in Zeiten des Terrors. Erfahrungen am Ort eines Narco-Massengrabs” En: Anne Huffschmid et al. (coords.): TerrorZones. Gewalt und Gegenwehr in Lateinamerika. Berlin: Assoziation A. 102-118.

2014 (co-authored). “Memoria de la narcoviolencia en México. Registro visual de la desaparición”. En: Revista de Historia, IHNCA 31 (1). 43-58.

2014. “Pensar la memoria desde la frontera: Recuerdo, reconstrucción y reconciliación en el caso del pozolero”. En: Revista A Contracorriente. Universidad de Carolina del Norte. DOSSIER: The performance of archives: Re-imagining memory and history in Latin America 12 (1). 279-301.

2013. (co-authored). “Conmemoraciones sociales: las prácticas de la memoria”. En: Juana Juárez et al. (coords.): Memoria Colectiva. Procesos psicosociales. México: UAM –Miguel Ángel Porrúa. 137-161.


Research project as a fellow of CALAS (transatlantic tandem with Anne Huffschmid):

Title: Landscapes of the transition. An exploration of places of terror and the possibilities of their collective transformation

Abstract: The project is situated in a particular situation of crisis, the current escalation of violence in Mexico, overwhelmed in the last decade, and proposes the exploration of emerging knowledge and practices in places and landscapes that have been marked by horror (a clandestine grave, an extermination zone or the scene of a massacre). In our previous work, around social and spatial memory and forensic processes, we have witnessed the constant effort of the families and those affected, in the forensic search itself but also to live with the places of the events, marking them or turning them into incipient sites of remembrance, giving an account of processes of survival and resistance. We propose to explore these new agencies as forms of reconstruction and social recovery, terms that we consider more productive and pertinent than the semantics of reconciliation: we understand them as efforts to rebuild the damaged social fabric, the bonds of sociability and trust between them "affected", as well as the generation of empathy in z with the society not directly involved. Based on the investigative experiences, five possible scenarios are chosen for this exploration: four distributed in different parts of the Mexican geography (Jalisco, Tijuana, Coahuila, and Veracruz) and one in Colombia as a reference country, corresponding to different forms of extreme violence. and various recovery practices by family members, neighbors, civil organizations, forensics, and artists. The methodological approach contemplates the combination of three fieldwork schemes, ranging from "brief ethnography", holding "exchange workshops" with local actors, to carrying out a transdisciplinary residency. The final products include an academic article, a notebook of the ethnographic and visual experience, as well as an audiovisual piece.