This roundtable will commence with a short visual presentation by political scientists who have studied the “baldosas,” followed by contributions from local activists reflecting on the politics of the “baldosas,” with further panelists considering memory and activism. There will be time for audience comment and general discussion.
This roundtable is unique in linking life-and-death in politics to the material environment and political context of the World Congress. Presenters will reflect on how memorialization makes memories, and how the interpretation of those memories structures political cleavages and conflicts. The practicalities of this process will be addressed first-hand by activists who are involved with the ‘baldosas por la memoria’ embedded in the streets of Buenos Aires. Academic reflections will draw on recent research and theorization in Political Science in which the relevance of emotion, affect, trauma, visuality, materiality and memory-making is made central to the discipline. This roundtable will test familiar boundary-lines and encourage audience engagement on wider issues such as: academic objectivity and political activism; reflexivity and data-collection; human rights and national security; public memory-making and private mourning; bringing the dead to life and letting ‘the dead bury their dead’.
Following the roundtable, participants are invited to join a special guided walking tour with the activists to view the baldosas. Advance registration for the Activating Memories: Seeing the Baldosas with the Activists (walking tour) is required as spaces are limited.
Background reading and viewing
“The People’s Paving Stones: The Material Politics of International Human Rights in the Baldosas por la Memoria of Buenos Aires,” by Terrell Carver, Dolores Amat and Paulo Ravecca, International Political Sociology (2021), vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 378-396. Open Access.
Link to article: https://academic.oup.com/ips/article/15/3/378/6170606
Google image search: “baldosas por la memoria”