34 Exercises of Freedom: #9 Between Terror and Revelry. Collective Strategies of Resistance during Dictatorships in Argentina and Brazil
by Ana Longoni

Both the Brazilian (1964–85) and the Argentine (1976–83) dictatorships were part of the Operación Condor, an illegal repression plan coordinated by different governments of Latin America, conceived with the aim of carrying out a policy of state terrorism that implied the systematic murder of politicians, workers, students, intellectuals, and artists that opposed the regimes. The methodology employed resulted in the “disappearance” of tens of thousands of people, and involved kidnapping, torture, killing, and other crimes. While the “concentrationary terror” (Pilar Calveiro) flooding out of the detention camps into the public space was clearly paralyzing, it was not absolute. There were also always fissures and alternatives, spaces of resistance, disorder and confrontation, camouflage and reinvention strategies for political action, and new ways of conceiving the body. Between Terror and Revelry speaks of the coexistence or even confluence of different modes of resistance—the denunciations of repression in the public space through the creative actions of human rights movements, but also another mode, which Roberto Jacoby characterizes as a “strategy of joy”: the exultation of being alive, of enjoying our bodies, and of transforming them by disobeying disciplinary norms.

Ana Longoni is a writer, researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council Argentina (CONICET), and professor at the University of Buenos Aires. Her field of research is centered on the crossroads between art and politics in Latin America since the 1960s. She is also an active member, since its foundation in 2007, of the Red Conceptualismos del Sur (Southern Conceptualisms) network. In her role as curator, she coordinated the exhibitions Losing the Human Form (2012) and Desire Rises from Collapse (2011), both at the Reina Sofía Museum Madrid. She has published, alone or in collaboration, among other works: El Siluetazo (The Silhouettes) (2008), Traiciones (Treasons) (2007), and Del Di Tella a Tucumán Arde (From the Di Tella Institute to Tucumán Arde) (2000/2008).

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