New book published: Gabriel Gatti – ‘Surviving forced disappearance in Argentina and Uruguay’

GattiGabriel Gatti has recently published Surviving forced disappearance in Argentina and Uruguay: identity and meaning in the ‘Memory Politics and Transitional Justice’ series with Palgrave Macmillan.

Due in large part to humanitarian law and transitional justice, the categories of detained-disappeared and forced disappearance are today well established – so much so that in some places like Argentina and Uruguay an intense social life has taken shape and become crystallized around them and in their wake. In the complex and dense social worlds that result, victims mix with institutions, laws, and professionals (forensic anthropologists, social scientists, jurists, psychologists, artists, archivists, writers, and so on), occupying intersecting positions and doing so with varied narratives, from the heroic to the tragic, the epic to the paradoxical. Based on extensive fieldwork in Argentina and Uruguay, this book examines and analyzes these worlds. It is aimed at those who are interested in understanding how one inhabits the categories that international law has constructed to mark, judge, think about, and repair horror.

New chapter published: Sévane Garibian – ‘Ghosts Also Die’

Sévane Garibian has recently published “Ghosts Also Die. Resisting Disappearance Through the ‘Right to the Truth’ and the Juicios por la verdad in Argentina”, Journal of International Criminal Justice, vol. 12:3, 2014, pp. 515-38.

This paper attempts to provide a more complete understanding of the so-called ‘right to the truth’, deriving from court-made doctrines in the human rights field and associated with an alternative form of legal proceedings in Argentina that has no equivalent anywhere else in the world: the trial for the truth (juicio por la verdad). This is a procedure sui generis created in the aftermath of the military dictatorship in response to both the politics of forgetting that prevailed in the 1990s and the continuing obstruction of criminal proceedings up to 2003 due to amnesty laws. Protecting the right to the truth fulfils three functions in turn: first, it makes possible conciliation of amnesty with the right to judicial protection; second, it constitutes the condition for real access to justice; third, it validates the reality of the crime. Each of these functions is associated with one of the three elements, which, together, comprise the struggle against impunity: investigation, sanction, and reparation. Situated between truth commissions and classic criminal proceedings, symbolic reparation and retribution, the Argentinian trials for the truth offer a new way of conceiving both the criminal-law judge’s mission and the relations among law, truth, history, and memory in the context of the rich debates about (post-)transitional justice.

For more information please see here.

Art Installation “Map of Silence”

Argentine artist Rafael Landea’s multimedia installation, Maps of Silence, explores the political use of the concept of silence in different historical contexts. This work was created in collaboration with Gregory T. Kuhn. It features video performances of John Cage’s 4’33″ recorded in different countries.

Maps of Silence examines different historical contexts where the concept of silence took on crucial social and political dimensions. One of them is Buenos Aires, 1975, during a dictatorial government campaign ; this context is called by the artist, “Silence = Death” .