The relationship between memory and photography has always been latent in its representation on traces, paths and journeys of different cultures, regarding to the idea of travelling from one culture to another. Which means that photography is a tool, or a device for Transcultural processes. Having in mind that the conception of Europeans about Latin American and vice versa was enhanced by the use of photographic devices in the late Nineteenth century as a result of the new conception of photographic production (Retina Caribe, 2015), from which is possible to read crossing paths in the view of cultural memory (Bond and Rapson ,2014). This text will focus on how a photograph [Fig. 1] can be interpreted in the public realm, addresing in particular the Nazi diaspora as a Transcultural process that is representing collectivity in the sphere of cultural memory between Latin American and Europe (Mainly Colombia and Germany).
First of all, this analysis will define Cultural Memory and Transculturality. It is important, being consiencious that these topics can have enormously different perspectives. Then the approach will be direct to The Family Album attempting to some testimonies from the inheritors of this peculiar photograph* . By doing so, the conclusion will be looking at the relationship of photography and cultural memory, as a way to explore the contemporary Transcultural turn (Bond and Rapson, 2014). It will be reflecting on the broad field of study that is open in terms of cultural memory represented within photography. As a starting point a reference to the language itself needs to be made. The prefix TRANS by all means is related to practices of BEYOND AND ACROSS spaces and time. It means that Transculturality refers to travelling (in visual terms) from one place, one time and one culture to another, is a continuous process of nourishment. Taking place via mnemonic devices such as photography (Enwezor, 2008), allowing the creation of a constellations of meaning. Binding ideas from the past to understand social practices in the present, thus an analysis of the social future can be build. In order to define properly the term Transcultural Memory, one need to define first what is understood, under this scope, as Cultural Memory. It is significant to begin with Halbwachs statement which defines social memory as a construction made by members of a number of different social groups (Halbwachs, 1992) , which are changing in time and space and are exposed to different interests that impinge upon a particular society leading to the creation of permeable memories between different cultures. All that point to the production of a cultural memory, which is concern to the majority of the members, ¨representing the most stable and permanent element ¨ (Whitehead, 2009). Enhancing to the creation of symbolisms related to a particular episode or event. Astrid Errl, Jessica Rapson and Lucy Bond have done a major research in terms of Transcultural memory. It is fundamental to underline these concepts as a parting point . Erll defines the concept of Travelling memory as the production of cultural memory that is in constant movement and has a potential impact within both individual and social formations, ¨memory fundamentally means movement: traffic between individual and collective levels of remembering, circulation among social, medial and semantic dimensions¨ (Erll, 2011) a movement that is constantly breaking boundaries and blurring borders. Although it is a process of remembrance, it must involve processes of recognition and knowledge, where the action that is placed in the individual mind had to be identified and perceived within a certain context in order to be part of a collective meaning that travels from one time and space dimension to another. Guided by Erll’s analysis, Rapson and Bond developed the term Transculturality in contemporary cultural practices as ¨more fluid and transient paradigm of relations between cultures ¨ (2014), focusing on the idea of transcendence of geographical boundaries which leads, in a positive view, to a better understating of the other. It is important to highlight that the process of Transculturation within memory is not a process where everything will look the same, is more an action taking place as a network – as a constellation- in which its nodes are related to time and space, facilitating symbolic exchange (Carrier and Kabalek, 2014) .
Nowadays with a more conscientious society and with the strong concept of trans-atlantic practices there is a lot of work to be made. To sum up, this whole process of memories and migration is a mechanism for sharing knowledge and experiences from the past via symbolism within channels of communication (Bond and Rapson, 2014). One can argue that the remembering process in Transcultural practices is wisely represented in photographic terms. Particularly the subject studied in this essay is a sign that the visualization of the impact that one culture has in the other one, must be observed carefully as a mnemonic device that gather broader and wider meanings. Hence producing a permeable process of remembering. Nevertheless, the society that is addressing the subject needs to be more reflexive and accept the traces and paths of that action of remembering. In this case Latin America, particularly Colombia’s society is not fully aware of the impact of Nazi presence in the continent and country. If a more meticulous investigation is made, it might respond to the wide range of political and social complexities that have been taking place in Latin America since the Nazi heyday.