Silvana Mandolessi (Professor of Cultural Studies at KU Leuven) - Memory as De-facement
The disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in September 2014 brought about the biggest political crisis in Mexico in the last decade. It triggered a grass-root movement, with global reach, which denounced disappearances and other human rights violations that had been committed since the beginning of the ‘War on Drugs’. In the memory activism around the case, many practices and resources from the long history of enforced disappearance in Latin America were appropriated and recycled to adapt them to the Mexican context and new technologies.
In this talk Silvana will explore how classical symbols of disappearances were adapted to the digital era, focusing on “photographs” and particularly on the use of the face as a mnemonic device that became particularly prominent.