Contextualizing Post-Dictatorship Argentina: Quantifying the Impact of La Dictadura and Art as a Method of Processing and Gaining Closure

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International and Intercultural Studies

Reader 1

Joe Parker

Reader 2

Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert

Rights Information

© 2017 Reilly J Anderson


Argentina’s government was in and out of periods of military occupation of the government throughout the 1900s, with a notable period of stability during Juan Perón’s time as president in the 1950’s before he was exiled to Spain. Upon his return, and his rather immediate death, his wife and vice president Isabel Perón was elected to office. This was a time when the “red scare” of communism had the Americas tight in its grasp and Peronistas developed warring factions that were either more or less socialist. With Isabel Perón’s ascension, and the changing political climate, came the start of the disappearances. The torture, forced disappearances, and deaths started in 1975, with estimates of around 100 people in that year, while Isabel Perón was still in power; that el terror started with Isabel is one of the best-known state secrets in Argentina.1 Following her failure to reignite the economy, and her weakening power as an executive, the military staged a coup that lead to the worst dictatorship in Argentina’s history, with the forced disappearance and presumed death of many Argentine citizens. What impact have la dictadura y los desaparecidos had on Argentines? I will address that impact through a historical analysis of the impact of releases of declassified documents and argue that art, especially public art, has been beneficial in assisting Argentines in commemorating los desaparecidos and moving forward through the intersection of art protest and social justice.

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