i n t r o d u c t i o n
k s e n i j a b i l b i j a a n d
l e i g h a . pa y n e
Time is Money
The Memory Market in Latin America
he maxim “Time is money” and its Spanish version “Tiempo
es oro” (Time is gold) reflect two economic notions in contention.
For example, a person can profit from time; time itself has value.
if one not use that time wisely, it is wasted. In the latter
sense, time itself does not have value; it is, rather, how one uses time that
has value.
Both notions provide insight into the memory market in Latin America.
The time since the recent dictatorships (that began roughly with the 1960s
and ended in the late 1980s) has value in itself. That time has meant rela-
tive freedom from the kind of state violence that defined the repressive au-
thoritarian regimes of the region. The repressive regimes exist as memory.
That time, and the memory it created, have value. Failing to use that time
and memory could waste it. What gives the time value is the struggle to
remember, to not repeat. The cry “Never Again” engages the value and
constructive use of time and memory. The memory market, in this sense,
explores the ways in which time and memory are used to produce value
and values to profit, or benefit, from remembering the repressive past,
to not repeat it.
While individuals and groups in Latin America engage in valuable
memory-making, global marketing strategies are penetrating the region.
The so-called Washington Consensus of the 1990s promoted the reduc-
tion of trade barriers, increased exports, privatization, deregulation, and
shrinking the role of the state in the economy.1 Global business practices
also shifted, from an emphasis on product promotion to one on “brand-
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