The affective bond may already be identified in the strong role that solidarity played in the networks generated during the raise of the clandestine organizations and that affected both the civil population as well as the political exiled communities abroad. This process culminates in the collectivization of motherhood, implemented by Madres y Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo*3 *( 3 ). During the so-called democratic transition period (that starts in 1983) the first Siluetazo action took place (whose most significant antecedent may be found in Tucumán Arde*4 *( 4 )). The collectivization of motherhood takes a national dimension through this collective artistic action.
This is when the struggle of the relatives of the disappeared became a fight for memory and legal justice and where memorial politics’ practice finally achieves counter history writing (* 5 ). Visual politics could be, especially in a context of permanent repression, deturned to become “critical weapons”. Counter history writing practices happened when a collective process (solidarity) starts to articulate its de-identification with the hegemonic narration: the artists as citizens. I will name and include those practices as extended esthetic.
Institutional and governmental memory, as already mentioned, do coexist and melt with non-institutional practices. The latter are mostly time-based, ephemeral or performative and tend to privilege public spaces as context and people’s bodies as medium.
Políticas de aparición I
Let’s start from the end, or better said, from the hic et nunc.
While writing this article I commuted for a short period to the South of the world, between Argentina, Uruguay and Chile; officially in order to deepen my research for my PhD and my work as an artist.
I was born in Switzerland; my father is an exiled from the Uruguayan dictatorship. The common thread of my family is one of a genealogy of exiles. Exiles have determined our displacement on the planet since at least three generations. This is maybe a possible reason why I am attracted to work with it and deconstruct it. Tracing a genealogy is reassuring; it has to do with legitimacy and continuity. But it also means to step into history’s ruptures and acknowledge our own need for a meaningful narration.
My father was born in the exile of his parents. My grandfather was one of the founder members of the communist party in Italy; because of the Mussolini regime he was given political asylum in Uruguay.
Here I am, back (if I may say so) to this very side of the world, looking for more pieces of this human micro-political mosaic.
I am now writing from Buenos Aires, where Loreto and Federico from the Etcétera group*6 *( 6 ) are kindly hosting me. While having an asado and a beer we chat about affective and memorial politics and practices.