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ERIC Number: EJ837967
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
Mediated Debate, Historical Framing, and Public Art: The Juan de Onate Controversy in El Paso
Perez, Frank G.; Ortega, Carlos F.
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v33 n2 p121-140 Fall 2008
In 1988, the El Paso, Texas, city council accepted a proposal to build twelve statues of historically important individuals as part of a downtown revitalization initiative. Juan de Onate was selected as the centerpiece statue of the XII Travelers Memorial of the Southwest. The decision to honor the Spanish colonizer triggered a local controversy about the nature and function of public art in shaping community identity. Nonetheless, in hopes of boosting tourism, city leaders funded construction of the statue and it was installed in 2006. Using the concepts of hegemony and fantasy heritage to analyze the debate, we argue that the Onate statue promotes the Hispanic framing of the city's history at the expense of its Mexican past and continues the historic exclusion of Chicanos from public space.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico; Texas