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Home arrow Philosophy arrow Playful Memories: The Autofictional Turn in Post-Dictatorship Argentina


  • 1. The first edition was published by Tantalia in 1994, a editorial created by Mira and the writers Anibal Jarkowski and Miguel Vitagliano.
  • 2. Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society,” 130. Jameson believes that more than parody, pastiche dominates postmodern culture, a type of “blank irony” or imitation of a peculiar style that has lost its satirical impulse and sense of humor. Following Jameson, Linda Hutcheon (A Theory of Parody) has also argued that parody is one of the major forms of modern self-reflexivity and that it has a revolutionary impact that contrasts with the conservative effect of repetition.
  • 3. Agamben, “Parody,” 37.
  • 4. Agamben, “Parody,” 38.
  • 5. Agamben, “Parody,” 39.
  • 6. Agamben, “Parody,” 40.
  • 7. Kohan, “Pero bailamos,” 25.
  • 8. Gatti, Identidades desaparecidas, 146.
  • 9. J borrow the phrase “lexicon of terror” from Marguerite Feitlowitz’s 1998 book A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture.
  • 10. Most of the artists of my corpus were born and live in Buenos Aires, and come from middle-class families. It is important to stress this geographical and class location because it highlights the need to look for other narratives and memories of the dictatorship from outside the capital that may or may not share an ethics and aesthetics of remembering with these artists.
  • 11. Hirsch, “The Generation of Postmemory,” 103.
  • 12. Perez, “Their Lives after: Theatre as Testimony and the So-Called ‘Second Generations’ in Post-dictatorship Argentina,” 9.
  • 13. Jn 2012, the Cdh inaugurated huachos in the Sala de Exposiciones Manuel Begrano Legislatura, an exhibition of collages, posters and installations that refers, playfully, to being young victims of the dictatorship.
  • 14. Goycochea, Perez and Surraco, “Definition del universo de victimas desde el estado post-genocida,” unpublished.
  • 15. Urondo, iQuien te crees quesos?, 95.
  • 16. Luduena, “Juicio RIBA.”
  • 17. The Cdh is not the only group that is beginning to question the discourses of memory that have dominated the public sphere. With a similar spirit, the Uruguayan group Ninos en Cautiverio Politico, founded in 2007, stresses the condition of victims of its members not based on their biological bond with their parents but on their status as political prisoners during the last dictatorship of that country (Levey, “Chronicle of a Childhood in Captivity”).
  • 18. Schwab, Haunting Legacies.
  • 19. Cited in Serpente, “The Traces of ‘Postmemory’ in Second-Generation Chilean and Argentinean Identities,” 143. It is worth stating, however, that in her more recent work, Hirsch has started to address the figure of the perpetrator, a move that mirrors the growing attempt in memory and trauma studies to overcome that lacuna in the field (see Craps, Postcolonial Witnessing).
  • 20. Gatti, Surviving Forced Disappearance in Argentina and Uruguay, 140.
  • 21. Gatti, Surviving Forced Disappearance in Argentina and Uruguay, 136.
  • 22. Jose Manuel Perez Rojo and Patricia Julia Roisinblit disappeared on 6 October 1978. Patricia was eight months pregnant with Guillermo Rodolfo, Mariana’s brother, who was snatched and raised by a member of the military and his wife until the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo found him in 2000.
  • 23. The three asterisks refer to a human rights organization where the princess worked in the past, most likely Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, where Perez spent many years.
  • 24. The Montonera Princess is referring to the texts that she used to write for the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo. Nene was her line manager there.
  • 25. The “Multiprocesadora” is an electric food processor/multiprocessor. Perez plays with this word and the fact that it sounds similar to “apropiadora” (someone who stole babies during the dictatorship).
  • 26. Unlike the most traditional space of theatre, the Perez finds blogs to be more private platforms where she can play openly and freely with her life story. This explains why it is on her blog and not in her theatrical plays (where Perez has also autofictionalized episodes of her life) where she has experimented with language and humor. This does not mean, however, that her plays are not experimental in other ways. Instruccionespara un colecci- onista de mariposas (Instructions for a Butterfly Collector) (2002) and Abaco (Abacus) (2008), for example, both draw on unexplored dimensions of collective memory, notably the conflictive daily relationships between the relatives of the disappeared. Instrucciones para un colecionista de mariposas draws on the disappointment that Perez felt when she met her brother, who was raised in a military family and who initially defended his appropriators and wanted nothing to do with his biological family. Abaco looks at the daily complications of a girl raised by her grandmother owing to the disappearance of her parents. The play raises important and unexplored issues about the legacies of terror in Argentina such as the resentments of two people (one too old to raise a child and the other too young to look after an old lady) who love each other but who are perhaps not prepared to live together.
  • 27. Pauls, Como se escribe un diario intimo.
  • 28. Gustavo Grigera, a doctor and militant of Montoneros, was abducted on 18 July 1977. He is still disappeared.
  • 29. Pakapaka is the state television children’s channel in Argentina launched by Cristina Fernandez in 2010. Grigera means that she has prepared a lighter version of the show.
  • 30. Botinera is a scornful Argentine term that refers to those women, usually models, who “hunt” footballers to marry them.
  • 31. Unidad bdsica is a term that refers to the location where Peronist militants gather together for different political activities.
  • 32. Wanda Nara is one of the most famous botineras in Argentina, the former wife of Maxi Lopez and the current wife of Mauro Icardi. Luche y vuelve was a popular slogan during the proscription of Peronism between the 1950s and 1970s.
  • 33. The Planes Procrear are the state credit programmes launched by kirchnerismo.
  • 34. Guillermo Moreno was the Argentine secretary of domestic trade between 2005 and 2013.
  • 35. This is a reference to a controversial barbecue held by kirchneristas in the ESMA in 2013 that sparked a heated debate in the media among survivors, human rights organizations and academics.
  • 36. In Argentina a gnocchi is someone who is an employee with a salary but gets away with not working, a reference to the date when people usually both get paid in Argentina and eat this kind of food (the 29th of each month).
  • 37. The Asignacion Universal por Hijo is another programme launched by Cristina Fernandez that gives a certain amount of money to poor families with children on the condition that the parents take them to school and visit the doctor regularly.
  • 38. The subtitle of Grigera’s work plays on the title of Fito Paez’s famous 1992 record “El amor despues del amor.”
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