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Sobre héroes y tumbas: the park and political logics of memory in Argentina

James, Daniel (2018) Sobre héroes y tumbas: the park and political logics of memory in Argentina. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004186

Abstract

The memory of the disappeared in Argentina is heavily and historically regulated and framed. We can use landscapes of memory as a prism to reconstruct the wider constitutive field of memory through which the reality of the past has been framed. By reconstructing this field, we can trace the discourses and logics of memory according to which meaning has come to be attributed to the past and a project for a future politics has been delineated. A study of the Parque de la Memoria reveals that Argentine collective memory has a cultural biography in which it tends towards two politics logics of memory which shape – and are shaped by – the concrete interventions over time and space of human rights actors and the understanding of the past among the wider interpellated Argentine public who situate within it in an expanded field. As a politics shaped by memory and mourning, the politics of transition in Argentina is revealed to be paradoxically emptied out of politics. Whether human rights groups choose to remember the desparecidos as innocent victims or 30,000 revolutionaries, so as to advance a social grieving or a politics of grievance, there is a lacuna at the heart of the memory of the disappeared as to who the disappeared really were. Though we find images and narrative discourses of quotidian humanity and political activism, we do not find the two together. The political logics of memory that have regulated the memory of the disappeared do not correspond to the reason of human rights groups, however, but that of society. The ontological subjects of the disappeared have been socially constructed in and through this memory as subjects that this society was willing to recognise and remember, with lasting implications for Argentine society and politics that continue to this day.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Daniel James
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Bhatt, Chetan and Hutter, Bridget and Savage, Mike
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/4186

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