Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Argentina: 34 Years On

34 years after the coup in Argentina, the children of the disappeared remain at centre stage in the memory of the dictatorship. The Madres and Abuelas of the Plaza de Mayo are still fighting on, and the grandmothers in particular are heavily involved in a number of cases going through the courts, but gradually they will start to hand over to the Hijos, the children of the disappeared. Former disappeared children in vastly differing circumstances are also becoming emblematic of the memory landscape in the nation.

Here's a quick scan of the Argentine press and the type of images they choose to emphasise:
Pagina/12 is always big on human rights issues so it was inevitable that the anniversary would make its front page. They go for a close-up on the children of the disappeared:

It's practically obligatory for children of the disppeared to be shown with photographs of their parents, the black and white images looking rather older than they actually are, silent reminders of the missing generation.

From Critica Digital, here are the mothers with their iconic white headscarves, and Estela Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers. Her voice has been particularly loud in recent times as she has coordinated the discovery of several disappeared children and spoken out against the prevaricating in the Noble DNA case (plus, she's the best looking 83 year old I know). Today she specifically named Ernestina Herrera de Noble, among others, as "accomplices of hunger" and supporters of neoliberalism.

Conservative La Nacion does not go for the anniversary as front page news, but does feature a photo slide show prominently on its website, which includes another typical Madres/photos of desaparecidos pose which could have come from just about anytime in the past twenty years.

Clarin also does not feature the commemorative actions on its front page and manages to misspell [president of the Madres] Hebe de Bonafini's name in this article (at least, in the version of it I am looking at right now). Well done there. Its images are mostly wide shots of large crowds in the Plaza de Mayo. Naturally, it would be striking if this newspaper were to have focused on a child of the disappeared as Pagina/12 did; Clarin's owner is accused of illegally adopting two such children herself.

There are too many articles today to list them all, but here's just a few:
Como contarle a un tribunal que es la ausencia (Pagina/12)
Carlotto: Los complices del hambre de hoy son los mismos que hace 30 años (Critica Digital)
La hija de un ex policia, en juicio contra su padre (Critica Digital)
Renovados reclamos en una multitudinaria protesta en Plaza de Mayo a 34 años del golpe del Estado (La Nacion)
Dos actos paralelos conmemoran en Plaza de Mayo los 34 años del Golpe (Clarin)

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