Photography, Memory, and Argentina's Disappeared
264 pp., 6 x 9 in, 58 b&w illus.
- Published: July 23, 2024
- Publisher: Goldsmiths Press
An exploration of the rich and varied relationship between photography and the most recent Argentine dictatorship.
Familiar Faces offers a diverse, theoretically rich, and empirically informed exploration of photography in Argentina's memorial, political, and artistic landscape.
During the country's most recent civic-military dictatorship (1976–1983), 30,000 people were disappeared or killed by the state. Over the decades, vernacular and professional photographs have been central to the Argentine struggle for justice. They were used not only to protest the disappearances under the dictatorship and to denounce the authorities, but also as tools of political and social activism, and for remembering the disappeared.
With contributions from leading Argentina-based anthropologists, ethnographers, curators, art scholars, media researchers, and photographers, Familiar Faces moves beyond the traditional considerations of representation, focusing instead on the ways in which photography is continuously reimagined as a tool of memory, mourning, and political and judicial activism. In so doing, it considers the diverse uses of press photography; artistic practice; photographs of the disappeared in domestic rituals; photographs of the inmates of torture centers; the reclamation of images taken by the dictatorial state for memorial and activist purposes.
Written and published at a crucial moment in Argentine memory politics, Familiar Faces offers a geographically and formally diverse selection of case studies, with international as well as regional resonance. While firmly rooted in this national context, the book contributes to wider, global debates about the increasingly pervasive role of the photographic image in relation to state-sponsored, large-scale violence.