museum without walls

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  • Without Wallsuseum

    Our Objectives: Empower the Salvadoran and Latino community to access educational programs related to the culture and history of El Salvador.

    Exchange pedagogical practices with other muse-ums and community organizations via participatory workshops, exhibitions, audiovisuals, publications, and other didactic materials.

    Build collaborative relationships and projects with other museums and groups working with youth in the areas of memory and human rights.

    Encourage the production of academic and public scholarship via the use of MUPI archives and the creation of new educational materials.

    Our mission is to disseminate Salvadoran history and culture internationally, exchange best educational practices, and strengthen ties to the Latino and Salvadoran communi-ties. Our program is an initiative of the Museum of the Word and Image (MUPI), an institution based in El Salvador.

  • Museum without Walls offers: EXHIBITIONS

    Our exhibitions analyze key moments in Salvador-an history that have been omitted from official nar-ratives. We promote critical reflection on how the past shapes the present and how ordinary people shape history. Most of these exhibitions have been created with the participation of communities who lived through these historical events.

    Memoria de Los Izalcos: Presents 100 years of ancestral Izalco knowledge and culture via the testimonies of indigenous communities based in western El Salvador.

    Prudencia Presidenta!: A comic book that tells the life of Prudencia Ayala (1885-1936), an indige-nous, working-class single mother who ran for the Salvadoran presidency before women could vote or hold public office.

    El Legado de Salarru: Composed of manu-scripts and photographs from the private collec-tion of Salarru (1899-1975), an important writer and painter.

    1932: Uses the testimonies of survivors to narrate the indigenous and peasant insurrection that pre-ceded the state massacre of at least 10,000 peo-ple. The exhibit explores the inequalities of the era and impact of state terror on indigenous women.

    Romero, Voz y Mirada: Presents unedited photo-graphs from the personal collection of Archbishop

    Oscar Arnulfo Romero. As an advocate of libera-tion theology, Romero denounced the military-led massacres of civilians during the 1970s. In March 1980 he was murdered by a death squad.

    The Story of Chiyo (La Historia de Chiyo): Pres-ents the life of Chiyo, a child orphan who survived the Civil War (1980-1992). He joined the peasant insurgency after the National Guard killed several of his family members

    Letter to my Children: Tells the stories of U.S.-based immigrants via their personal letters to their families in El Salvador. We highlight the dangers that immigrants face while crossing the border and show how families on both sides of the border cope with their separation. WORKSHOPS AND TRAININGS

    History Education: These workshops promote critical thinking, dialogue, and social justice via participatory pedagogy. For example, our work-shop on 1932 consists of the following activities:

    Exhibition Guide and Questionnaires: discus-sion questions and worksheets intended to rein-force student comprehension.

    Six participatory sessions: includes historical role-playing to understand collective responses to

  • economic inequality; exercises in primary docu-ment analysis to understand competing historical perspectives; group discussions to challenge ra-cial and ethnic stereotypes; group discussions on identity and multiculturalism; and student-led oral history projects in which students formulate ques-tions, interview family members, and compare their findings to secondary sources.

    Film Forums: We host a screening of the MU-PI-produced documentary 1932: Cicatriz de la memoria. Afterwards we facilitate collective dis-cussions about key themes presented in the film.

    Pedagogical Exchanges: We draw from over twenty years of work with marginalized communi-ties to assist museums or other groups in the cre-ation of educational materials that serve their insti-tutional needs and those of their target audiences.

    Docent Trainings: Empower participants, partic-ularly youth, to become exhibit docents. The mod-el is reproducible, maximizing outreach for institu-tions with limited resources.

    Strategic Planning: Assists museums and other groups in assessing their institutional progress, creating and implementing long-term goals and structures of accountability, and promoting posi-tive inter-group dynamics.


    Literature: Sagatara Mo, Salarru y Leonora Trasmallo #5, Salarru

    Historical Memory: Lucirnagas en El Mozote La terquedad del izote (Broadcasting the Civil War in El Salvador: A Memoir of Guerrilla Radio) Morazn, recuerdos del futuro Romero, voz y mirada Siete gorriones La lucha as es, memoria oral en Chalatenango Rompiendo silencios, desobediencia y lucha en Villa El Rosario Torola, ro de los Guayabos El Salvador, unicornio de la memoria Trasmallo #6, Romero

    Indigenous History and Rights: 1932, rebelin en la oscuridad (To Rise in Dark-ness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-1932) Manual de derechos de los pueblos indgenas Juego Didctico Los Izalcos Trasmallo:

    #1, Identidad, memoria y cultura #2, Memoria de los Izalcos#3, 1932

    Kabrakn, la furia de los dioses

    Women and Gender: Trasmallo #4, Una historia de mujeres Prudencia Presidenta!

    Immigration: Carta del norte, una historia de migracin Trasmallo #7, Historias de migracin

    All materials with English and Spanish titles are available in both languages.

  • Our Institutional Allies: International Coalition of Sites of Conscience: Member that regularly participates in conferences, workshops, and institutional exchanges. Central American and Mexican Video Archive at the University of Indiana:Collaborative project to digitize and disseminate MUPI archives. Human Rights Documentation Initiative at the University of Texas: Collaborative project to digi-talize MUPI audio archives. Latin American Studies at the University of Bos-ton: Co-organize cultural activities targeted to Sal-vadoran immigrants. Arts of Citizenship, University of Michigan: With their support the MUPI created a traveling educa-tional program in El Salvador.

    Awards: Ibero-American Prize of Museums and Educa-tion (2010) Ford Award (2010)


    1932, Cicatriz de la Memoria: Presents the tes-timonies of survivors to narrate the 1932 insurrec-tion that resulted in the death of 10,000 people.

    Cuentos de Cipotes: Cartoon animation for chil-dren based on the short stories of the Salvadoran writer Salarru.

    La Palabra en el Bosque: Presents the testimo-nies of peasants who organized in Christian Base Communities before and during the Salvadoran Civil War. (57 mins)


    The MUPI in San Salvador possesses an excep-tional archive of documents, audiovisuals, and objects from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twen-ty-first centuries. Our library houses more than 2,000 sources and 50,000 images. We special-ize in the following subjects: social movements, the Civil War, folklore, and historical figures such as Prudencia Ayala, Salarru, Roque Dalton, Pe-dro Geoffroy Rivas, Claudia Lars, and Monseor Romero, among others.

    We are interested in collaborating with research-ers and archivists to make this material more ac-cessible to Salvadoran and foreign audiences.

    History of the Museum of the Word and Image (MUPI):

    After the Civil War in 1992, journalist Carlos Hen-rquez Consalvi directed a team to rescue archives on contemporary social movements. This conser-vation effort was later extended to other topics, in-cluding Salvadoran culture and identity.

    The MUPI is a foundation dedicated to research-ing, preserving, and sharing the historical and cul-tural patrimony of El Salvador. The MUPI assists in-digenous and peasant communities to document their historical memory, and organizes educational activities on themes such as memory and human rights.

    Work with us!Carlos Henrquez Consalvi

    MUPI Director [email protected]

    Diana C. Sierra BecerraExecutive Coordinator Museum without Walls

    [email protected] us

    @tejiendomemoriaMuseo de la Palabra y la Imagen