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2850 - Art and Memory: The Struggle for Peace and Human Rights in Argentina

The purpose of this essay is to examine the ability that art has to transform society, preserve memory and serve as an instrument to restore human dignity. In this paper I will focus on the case of Argentina and in the use of photography and sculpture in order to preserve the memory of a society that has suffered the violence of State Terrorism. The artists I will examine are Sarah Brodsky , a painter, sculptor and member of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, and Mauricio Brodski, a photographer. Sarah Brodsky has documented the struggle of the mothers of Plaza de Mayo, the social movement which has fought for peace and justice in Argentina. 

The work of art to express of peace and social justice will be examined within the artistic expressions of Argentine and European human rights organizations. I will draw my ideas from the work of Walter Benjamin and Heinrich Heine. I will examine the parallels between the artistic work done on memory in Argentina and Germany, specifically Berlin (Holocaust and genocide memorials). The work of Ana Benjamin will serve as a bridge between Buenos Aires and Berlin. I'm interested in examining how art can communicate ethical concerns and serve as a means for recording history and peace building. I will also draw from the work of writer Julio Cortazar and Italo Calvino in order to study the relationship between space, memory, ethics and the creation of a culture respectful of peace.

Keywords: Peace, Art, Memory, Culture, Human Rights

Author: Cox, Victoria (Appalchian State University, Ud States of Am / USA)

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