The Stigma of Memory in Tumbaya-Jujuy

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Ludmila da Silva Catela


The objective of this article is to depict the early stages of the complex relationship between memories of repression and the stigmas generated by the accusatory categories associated with past practices and the disappearance of persons. The topic of analysis is not the notion of disappearance per se, nor the problems arising in its wake; rather, it is the ways in which the friends, relatives, and townspeople who experienced hardship and repression during the last military dictatorship in Argentina (1976–83) have reconstructed their world. To this end, I observed the practices and listened to the narratives of relatives of the illegally detained and disappeared in the small town of Tumbaya, together with those of other local residents. Special attention is paid to the role played by a “memory broker” in order to shed light on the relationship between visibility and stigma, as well as on the social bonds linking the memory broker to the community. This study is based on material gathered in the course of observations, informal conversations, and interviews carried out in Tumbaya between July 2003 and July 2004. In English, extensive summary in Russian.


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