MARCIA LIKA HATTORI
Forensic archaeology and the appropriation of traumatic heritage
I am Brazilian and PhD candidate at the Basque Country University. I am currently based in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, at the Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit) part of Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). I have a bachelor degree in History, a specialization in Forensic Anthropology applied to Human Rights in Spain and a master´s degree in Archaeology at São Paulo University – USP. I worked for more than seven years in different Preventive Archaeology companies doing fieldwork, laboratory analysis, participatory inventories of cultural heritage and especially working in conflict areas, most of them related to environmental licensing in Brazil. I was part of the group responsible for the development of Heritage Education programs, maintaining direct and constant contact with several communities in different contexts in Brazil, which contributed a lot to my practical knowledge in the area, the difficulties of implementing the projects, the dialogue between the theoretical lines of certain disciplines and the reality of the field, the relationship of communities, archaeologists and other parties involved. From this experience, I developed my master’s degree in archaeology in conflict areas, thinking about the relation of communities, historic cemeteries, conflicts and the use of cultural heritage as a way of community resistance. Since 2013, I have been working as a forensic archaeologist in the searches of disappeared people of the Brazilian military dictatorship in different cases.
My current research, intitled “Appropriating traumatic heritage: creating alternative practices and new horizons for preventive archaeology through public engagement and social change” aims at understanding how the disappearance of people in São Paulo, Brazil persists in the bureaucracy and the management of dead bodies, by comparing the last dictatorship and the democratic period.