INSTITUTO ROSARIO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN CIENCIAS DE LA EDUCACION
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Memory Museums in Argentina: Between Demolition, Modification and Preservation
Journal Material Culture
Lugar: London; Año: 2011
This paper looks into the architectural debates surrounding some of the most emblematic Memory Museums in Argentina: the Rosario Memory Museum and the Popular Centre for Memory or 'The Pit' both located in the city of Rosario, and the ESMA (ex-Navy School of Mechanics) in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which used to function as clandestine centres of illegal detention, torture, and death during the military dictatorship known as the Process of National Reorganization (19761983). First addressed are the architectural debates surrounding these memory sites by analyzing not only the role of the state in hindering or in promoting their preservation, modification, and destruction or (re)construction, but also by delving into the architectural and symbolic proposals of the different human rights groups which have taken charge of the sites. The argument compares these places with other paradigmatic memory sites in Spain, Chile, and Germany in order to claim that the debates raised by the preservation, modification and demolition of memory places, far from being restricted to human rights groups, tends to embody larger political and social tensions in the public sphere. This seems to suggest that these sites may constitute a space crossed over by the tensions of globalization and neoliberalism in the urban environment of the cities and of the nation.