About the project

Transregional remembrance of dictatorships: restoring human dignity through artistic practices in South America and Eastern Europe

(Contract TE, 138/2018 (2018-2020), PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2016-0346, UEFISCDI: 449.744 Ron)

This project analyzes what, and how do artists remember after traumatic experiences of the non-democratic regimes of the 20th century in two opposing ideological contexts in South America (with a focus on the Southern Cone – Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil), and Eastern Europe (including ex-Yugoslavia). We use an innovative approach, that of comparing two dissimilar regions with different experiences of the past, and through a look at cultural remembrance practices, and especially artistic renderings of the past as these show how, or what is missing from the process of dealing with the past, and how through a comparative outlook the two regions could learn from one another. The project uses an interdisciplinary method of the study of artistic practices after dictatorships, and lies at the intersection of several theoretical foci. It uses methodological instruments that belong to the field of Transitional Justice (TJ) studies and more specifically to the study of the role of art in the process of TJ. It proposes a specific approach, that of transnational memory and of transregional studies between the two regions with a focus on a precise form of cultural memory, that of artistic practices. Instead of comparing countries or regions, I propose we use the lens of art and politics to look at the way societies as seen by artists deal with their past experiences. The research will evaluate comparatively the similarities, and differences of artistic remembrances of past hardships in a transregional approach through specific case studies that bring forward the transregional links we can observe, and which artistic practices help create. The main objective is to create a framework of comparative analysis of phenomena connected to the aftermath of dictatorships through very specific examples that help document the transregional similarities and disparities of dealing with the past that artists are able to pinpoint to.