INSTITUTO ROSARIO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN CIENCIAS DE LA EDUCACION
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Argentina's Politics of Memory and Other Emergent Forms of Collective Cooperation and Action
The last military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983) had the tremendous power to change in an unprecedented and catastrophic way how Argentines understood living in a society. In addition to the 30.000 disappeared, the dictatorship suspended political parties, unions, and other mechanisms of grouping and collective cooperation and attempted to reshape public space by reducing social participation to the insertion of each individual in the benefits of consumption and financial speculation. In my paper, I analyse the different forms of collective resistance that have emerged not only in response to the dictatorship but also to the continued neoliberal economic and social transformation that reached breakpoint in the economic default and political crisis of 2001. I argue that, since the dictatorship, social and political movements have become fused and conflated with human rights groups in a united front. As a result, my paper first looks into the collective political struggles of Memoria Abierta (Open Memory) and argues that the current politics of memory in Argentina is indissociably linked not only to the specific struggles for truth, memory and justice for the crimes committed by State Terrorism, but also to the strong emergence of social movements of resistance and protest (piqueteros, workers-run factories, and popular libraries and assemblies among others) that resist a rampant neoliberalism originally rooted in Martínez de Hozs economic plan during the military repression and brought to completion during Menems (1989-1999) and De La Rúas (1999-2001) presidencies.