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Building Bridges of Memory: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and the Cultural Politics of Maternal Memories

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In this article, I explore the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo as a site through which social memories are transmitted and connected to the realities of Argentina's present. The conjuncture or disjuncture between people's direct and individual memories of the past, their memory of the society's collective past, and the "official" history can be used as a prism for seeing how power, and resistance, work through and reinforce a complex political economy. By giving testimony and re-contextualizing the events of the dictatorship, the Mothers have been able to challenge the historical narratives of the state and construct competing ones. Furthermore, the present-day activism and goals of the Mothers, as individuals and as a collective, are based on political commitments that have arisen in great part out of maternal relationships and maternal memories. Their maternal memories have led to a re-signification of neoliberalism as a type of structural violence.
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Keywords: Argentina; Cultural politics; Historical narrative; Motherhood; Social memory

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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