Stigma, Trauma and the Social Forces Shaping Memory Transmission in Argentina

Jill Stockwell


Since the return to democratic rule in Argentina in 1983, competing claims about how the period of political and state violence of the 1970s and 1980s might be collectively remembered by the nation have caused deep political and societal divisions. This paper explores the personal memories of Argentine women from two ideologically-opposed groups—those on the political Left affected by military repression during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship and those on the political Right affected by the armed guerrilla violence predominantly in the years leading up to the 1976 military coup. In contemporary Argentina, the memories of enduring personal trauma which both groups of women carry are commonly perceived as unable to co-exist in a shared mnemonic space – as if remembering one history of violence is seen as an attempt to forget or violate the other history of violence and trauma.

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