Placing Managua: a landscape narrative in post-earthquake Nicaragua

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On 23 December 1972, a major earthquake occurred near Managua, Nicaragua. Followed by two strong aftershocks, the earthquake had devastating consequences for the people of Nicaragua's capital, and corruption and mismanagement during the relief efforts gave impetus to what would become the Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979. The earthquake also dramatically altered the landscape of the capital, destroying most of the city's historic center. Abandoned after the earthquake, the area nevertheless maintains a prominent symbolic role in Nicaragua, and in many ways remains the heart of a vastly changed modern city. The revolution was celebrated in the historic core, and memorials, government buildings, and ongoing revitalization efforts have all shaped it in the nearly four decades since its devastation. Though initially abandoned, it remains a powerful and dynamic place. This article investigates landscape transitions in the historic heart of Managua since the tumultuous events of the 1970s, with particular emphasis on the ways in which visions of Nicaragua's past, present, and future are reflected in the competing currents of the built landscape.


This article was originally published in Journal of Cultural Geography. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Cultural Geography


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