A Conversation with Rita de Grandis

This week I found the conversation with Rota de Grandis to be interesting in terms of her analysis of disappearance as a form of oppression as well as reconciliation and recovery of a nation from an era of frequent disappearances. Truly is seems to me that a pattern of people vanishing is one of the most violent and terrifying forms of control of a regime. The technique when performed well is devastatingly effective for the perpetrators as there is no accountability. Considering that the crime is without evidence and the only tangible fact is the absence of a person and the absence of an event. There is no place to start an investigation, even if you were to suppose that a police force would be willing to assist you and it wasn’t a private undertaking. Even with government sanctioned murder there tends to be evidence, grizzly as it may be often regimes are trying to send a message. This lack of accountability as de Grandis pointed out can lead to an alarmingly large pool of potential victims. I can imagine the most devastating detail for families would be the huge hurdle to finding closure, they can never be assured of the fate of their loved one. With the disappeared it can very often be assumed that they have met an end but the invisibility of any evidence of the fact leaves a torturous glimmer of hope. The inability to ever close the chapter means that families must have their minds open to the most gruesome possibilities and if the disappeared person has been killed they never had a moment to say goodbye.

I found the action of Argentine women to find out details on the disappeared and to locate their children to be especially interesting. Often protest even if it is peaceful, moves against traditional structures. These women have worked within their traditional gender roles as mothers and wives to petition for change. To me there can be no doubt that prescribed gender roles for women need to be expanded to this day. However this action within traditional roles is ingenuity and intelligence of a group of people who are simply motivated by care and concern for their loved ones. Their protest has remained peaceful and persistent and I believe it is a major testament to honour those who have disappeared.

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One Response to A Conversation with Rita de Grandis

  1. Magalee

    Hey Isabel,

    I enjoyed reading your post! I totally agree with how impressive and impactful this entire movement was. The success of the movement in light of political and social turmoil, both during and after the dictatorship, is genuinely amazing.

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