As a merger of past, present and future, and as a material embodiment of change, the ruin offers a fertile locale for competing cultural stories about historical events, political projects, and the constitution of communities. A fascination with pre-Columbian ruins already marked Latin American nineteenth-century nation-building projects as well as early twentieth-century artistic experiments that linked avant-garde originality with imagined new beginnings. This book highlights the ruin’s prolific resurgence in Latin American cultural life at the turn of the millennium and sharply reveals a stirring creative drive by artists and intellectuals toward ethical reflection and change in the midst of ruinous devastation.