An Open Wound: A Play about Memory, History, and Politics in Post-Dictatorship Argentina
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The “Proceso de Reorganización Nacional,” or the “Process of National Reorganization,” which took place in Argentina in the mid 1970s through 1983, resulted in the forced disappearance of approximately 30,000 people. Most of these bodies were never recovered and, to this day, many of the names of these victims are still unknown. The absence of these 30,000 disappeared, or desaparecidos, left a gaping wound in Argentinian society. After the end of the dictatorship in 1983, efforts to heal this wound, to remember and make sense of the dictatorship, became entrenched in the everyday lives of Argentine citizens. Through this process of memorialization, different memory narratives began to emerge. State-sponsored memory narratives became hegemonic, permeating the culture, economy, and ideology of society. However, these narratives did not go unchallenged, and counter-hegemonic narratives also emerged and gained legitimacy. The incorporation of one of these counter-narratives into the state’s discourse drastically changed the hegemonic memory narrative. This play is informed by performance theory, memorialization studies, and historical research, and inspired by the work of many Argentine playwrights and artists. This play not only reflects on the process of memorialization in Argentina, but also challenges broader concepts of memory, history, and truth. Ultimately, the play calls the audience to question the narratives under which they operate, and to see some of the political, social, and economic ramifications of the stories we tell.
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