Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe


29 October 2019
15:15 - 17:00
KNG 80, Room 1.06, Utrecht University

Seminar with Alison Ribeiro de Menezes: Tactile Translations: Re-Locating the Disappeared

This paper examines the manner in which the term ‘the disappeared’ now circulates globally, by setting the context of its emergence in Argentina and discussing the ‘artivism’ of the silhouette campaign. It then looks more closely at one instance in which the contours of the paradigm are rather different: the disappeared of the Northern Irish conflict. The paper discusses visual art’s role as the bearer of memories of the illegally detained, forcibly migrated, and improperly buried, and draws on the examples of the photography of David Farrell and the filmic production of Willie Doherty. The specificities of the case of the disappeared of the Troubles remind us that the original paradigm from Latin America has undergone political, social and cultural transformations which highlight the importance not only of political context but also of our relationship to the land and landscapes in which we live and in which the disappeared bodies lie. The paper thus moves towards a vision of eco-memory as significant in enriching transnational approaches to memory studies.

Alison Ribeiro de Menezes is Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Warwick, where she was Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures from 2016-19. She has published widely on contemporary Hispanic and Portuguese memory, and she is currently completing an AHRC-funded project on Chilean exile memory following the Pinochet coup. She is writing a study of transnational approaches to memory in the light of the migration and translation of the term ‘the disappeared’.

This seminar is organized in the context of the ERC-funded research project Remembering Activism (ReACT).
Contact: Prof. Dr. Ann Rigney (