Murals of Managua, Nicaragua: The Visual Symbols of Cultural Identity and Heritage



Trumbull, Mariah

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This thesis aims to analyze and investigate the symbols used in commissioned and non-commissioned murals throughout Managua, Nicaragua in order to understand how murals are catalyzing shifts in identity formation processes within the country. Murals, because of their inherent intersubjective symbolic content, speak to the memories and lived experiences of the people and have become a primary avenue for communicating ideas, expressing discontent, and reaffirming connections to the cultural past. By employing perspectives grounded in art history, social history, and anthropology, I argue that the intersubjectivity of murals has catalyzed a move away from traditional hegemonic discourses of mestizaje toward new identity formation processes in which a “mosaic hybrid” approach is being constituted and expressed. This mosaicism allows for permanent spaces in which identities co-exist, such that “Nicaraguanness” becomes accepted alongside personal identities.



Nicaragua, Identity, Murals, Popular culture, Collective memory