The Museum as a Forum Giving Voice to the “Disappeared”: A Case Study of the Museum of Memory in Buenos Aires, Argentina

By Gabriela Baeza Bastarrachea.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In Argentina the dirty war of 1974 lead to the death of thousands of people by torture or illegal abduction orchestrated by the State. However since 1983 when the dictatorial military regime came to its end, the Argentinean nation started a transitional stage of democratic exercise of memorialization aiming to set accounts with the past. Nevertheless, the multiplicity of societal actors involved in the reconstruction of the recent history are often in struggle when it comes to the agreement on how to give meaning to a past of violence and repression. Today, after years of political struggle and controversy, a coalition of humanitarian groups together with the government of the city of Buenos Aires have created the Museo de la Memoria, a museum that opened its doors this month to honor the memory and ideals of those who were killed and abducted during the dirty war, today internationally know as the “Dissapeared”. This Museum of Memory intends to incorporate to the public realm the private histories of the victims of state terror to rewrite a tragic chapter of the history of Argentina that was characterized by a culture of secrecy and terror. This paper will present how this museum of memory is now bringing the voices of the “Dissapeared” to the public sphere using the space of the museum as a forum.

Keywords: Memory Museums, Argentina, Dirty War

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.127-134. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 587.671KB).

Gabriela Baeza Bastarrachea

Fulbright Scholar, New York University, New York, USA

Gabriela Baeza Bastarrachea is a Fulbright Scholar from Yucatan Mexico, She has a B.A. in Latin American Literature and a Graduate Diploma in Museums and Archives Management. She is enrolled as a Graduate Student at NYU and is currently working on the thesis research entitled: “In Search of Meaning: Violence & Memory in Latin America” to obtain the M.A. degree in Museum Studies. Her former research work explored the creation of imaginary spaces in Caribbean Literature, as well as the dynamics of displacement found on Caribbean narratives. Her former talks and publications explore diverse aspects of Latin American literature, such as gender and national identity.

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