The living, the dead and the disappeared: memory activism in post-dictatorship Argentina
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 11:27 authored by Anmarie Dabinet
Memory is potent in Argentinean society elicited by the traumatic experiences of the military dictatorship era (1976-1983) and the enforced 'disappearances' of up to 30,000 people. This thesis examines memory as a conscious construct for Argentinean human rights organizations whose demands focus on truth and justice on behalf of the dictatorship's victims. Memory draws the past and, indeed, the 'disappeared' themselves into the present, where they act as integral and dynamic forces that are able to shape each group's current initiatives and future plans. This style of memory-focused activism embodies the ongoing relationship between the living and the dead or 'disappeared'. In this framework, this thesis explores a broad range of social and political concerns and the activities of human rights organizations in which this vivid relationship between the living and the disappeared is made visible to others. This relationship unfolds in the context of temporality and place, through performative rituals and commemoration practices, by sharing stories and memories, and through efforts that recover disappeared grandchildren and reunite the remains of the disappeared with their living families.