Author and Human Rights Activist from Argentina
Writing and the Disappeared of Latin America
Monday, March 30, 2009
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.
A survivor’s perspective on the role of the writer in the struggle against feminicide and the “disappearing” of political dissidents in Latin America.
Co-sponsored by Latin American Studies, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, and First-Year Seminars.
After Perón’s death in 1974, the Argentinean government was left in the hands of his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, who empowered the military and the police to eradicate subversion. In 1976, a military junta seized power in Argentina and carried on a seven-year campaign against individuals who opposed it. Many people were kidnapped and taken to secret detention centers where they were tortured and eventually killed.
Human rights groups in Argentina estimate the number of “disappeared” to be close to 30,000. Many of these were peaceful citizens, writers, workers, and housewives not involved in politics. The dictatorship forced many individuals into exile, especially intellectuals, artists, and political activists. Between 1970 and 1985, nearly half a million citizens left Argentina for other Latin American countries, the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe, especially Spain.
Alicia Partnoy is a survivor of the secret detention camps. She is the author of The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival, Little Low Flying (Volando bajito), and Revenge of the Apple (Venganza de la manzana). From 2003 to 2006, she was the co-editor of Chicana/Latina Studies: the Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies, and in journals in the U.S.A and abroad.
Partnoy, former vice-chair of Amnesty International, is an associate professor at Loyola Marymount University. She also presides over Proyecto VOS-Voices of Survivors, an organization that brings survivors of state sponsored violence to lecture at U.S. universities.