Commemoration and Contestation in Post-Dictatorship Argentina and Uruguay
Chapter 5: Transitory Transmissions of Memory in Argentina and Uruguay: The Ebbs and Flows of the Escrache and its Recent Iterations
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Transitory Transmissions of Memory in Argentina and Uruguay: The Ebbs and Flows of the Escrache and its Recent Iterations
You also must know that nothing lasts in this country. But you also must know that in Argentina there is no reckoning. Here no one ever pays. —Nathan Englander1
‘Children, Never look Back!’ and this meant that we must never allow the future to be weighed down by memory. For children have no past, and that is the whole secret of the magical innocence of their smiles. —Milan Kundera2
This chapter turns attention to the collective memory endeavours undertaken by members of the ‘post-dictatorship generation’, a term employed by Ana Ros for the generational grouping comprised of individuals who reached adulthood during the aftermath of dictatorship.3 Born before and during the onset of dictatorship, they had limited direct experience and personal memories of this historical period. Yet, since the 1990s, these individuals have emerged as protagonists in the struggles for justice and memory, joining the Argentine and Uruguayan human rights communities in commemorative rituals, such as the 24 March demonstration in Argentina and the Marcha del ← 199 | 200 → Silencio which takes place every 20 May in Uruguay. Members of the post-dictatorship generational unit have also participated in and supported fixed and permanent memorial initiatives, including the ESMA ‘space for memory’ (see previous chapter for H.I.J.O.S.’s stance on the ESMA). However, this chapter turns to commemorative sites...
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