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Fragile Memory, Shifting Impunity

Commemoration and Contestation in Post-Dictatorship Argentina and Uruguay

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Cara Levey

Fragile Memory, Shifting Impunity is an interdisciplinary study of commemorative sites related to human rights violations committed primarily during dictatorial rule in Argentina (1976–1983) and Uruguay (1973–1985). Taking as a departure point the ‘politics of memory’ – a term that acknowledges memory’s propensity for engagement beyond the cultural sphere – this study shifts the focus away from exclusively aesthetic and architectural readings of marches, memorials and monuments to instead analyse their emergence and transformation in post-dictatorship Argentina and Uruguay. This book incorporates the role of state and societal actors and conflicts underpinning commemorative processes into its analysis, reading the sites within shifting contexts of impunity to explore their relationship to memory, truth seeking and justice in the long aftermath of dictatorship.
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Chapter 4: Returning to the Scene of the Crime(s): Transformative Trajectories of Sites of State Terrorism

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CHAPTER 4

Returning to the Scene of the Crime(s): Transformative Trajectories of Sites of State Terrorism

Cuando se dice Auschwitz, en realidad se está mencionando un lugar, un espacio. Un espacio donde existió un campo de concentración y de exterminio, que se volvió el paradigma de todos los campos. Acá el punto es que cuando se dice Auschwitz, se está expresando un pensamiento, una imagen de algo que ocurre y no del lugar.

[When we say ‘Auschwitz’, we are actually referring to a place, a space. A space where a concentration and death camp existed, that became a paradigm of all camps. The point here is that when we say ‘Auschwitz’ we are expressing a concept, an image of something that has happened and not the place itself.] —Héctor Schmucler1

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