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Performing future affiliations in Argentine spaces of memory

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Philippa Page



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Rather than thinking of museums in the normative sense as clearly demarcated spaces in which both narratives, archives and objects recalling the traumatic past become crystallised and static, this article considers such spaces as vital contemporary sites of encounter and, as a. result, live agents of political engagement and change. In order to illustrate this, the article discusses a constellation of four recent activities/encounters that have taken place at three of Argentina's most emblematic memory "museums": the ESMA Museum of Memory in Buenos Aires, "La Perla" complex on the outskirts of Córdoba (Argentina's third city, located in central Argentina), and the Provincial Memory Archive, also located in Córdoba. Unlike those museums that have been purpose-built, what each of these sites has in common is that it is a recovered space that operated previously as a clandestine detention centre during the 1976-83 military dictatorship. The material traces of this traumatic and unreconcilable past resonate on the paint-scuffed walls creating a powerful mise-en-scène for new encounters with the past, including survivors, relatives of the disappeared and those of the perpetrators, as well as new generations of non-implicated witnesses. This article explores not only the extent to which memory museums have become live installations for on-going political struggles in Argentina, but also advocates for the importance of creating and curating designated memory museums as dynamic spaces of encounter -both local and transnational- where new agents of memory can enter the stage and where struggles new and old can intersect with one another.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sosa C, Page P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Mezosfera

Year: 2019

Issue: 7

Online publication date: 26/11/2019

Acceptance date: 05/11/2019

Date deposited: 06/11/2019



Notes: Publisher's information: Mezosfera is an international magazine on art and culture published and edited by tranzit. hu in Budapest. tranzit. hu, Ezredes utca 13., Budapest 1024, HUNGARY.