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Imaging crisis in contemporary Argentina: mothers on the street and mothers on the screen

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This article studies five films from the Argentinean post-dictatorship period in combination with an analysis of the performative aspects of current street protests in Argentina. Both protests and films signal the existence of a profound cultural contradiction in the country: while women and symbols of maternity are playing key roles in the articulation of effective political change, many Argentinian films include the character of the deranged mother as a metaphor for the nation and displace over her the responsibilities for the country's economic, social, and political failures. Careful analysis proves that the two phenomena are rooted in the experiences of trauma and resistance undergone by Argentinian society to the state terror imposed by the military government during the Proceso years.

Keywords: Argentina; gender identity; motherhood; nationalism; performance; trauma

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature and Department of Literary and Cultural Studies, State University of New York, Stony Brook.

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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