The article explores the construction of memory practices in the context of Argentinean dictatorship and post-dictatorship. The photograph of a disappeared detainee, as a probative document of an existence, formed the basis of an archive at the beginning involuntary, improvised, artisanal, which grew and became more complex until it became a genuine counter-archive against the State’s narrative during and after the dictatorship. These first archival practices, marked by urgency and uncertainty, helped to shape a symbolic universe in which to hold the trace of the absent. The figure of disappearance fixed on the photographic medium evoked a fundamental disagreement amidst the pretensions of democratic reconstitution in post-dictatorship; it would also lay the foundations for practices of memory intensely linked to forms of cultural and political resistance still in force in Argentina.
Practices of memory, disappearance, photography, archive, politics, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo