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Antipoda. Revista de Antropología y Arqueología

versión impresa ISSN 1900-5407


VILLALTA, Carla  y  GESTEIRA, Soledad. An Archive for Rethinking Different Forms of Violence: Suspected, Interrupted and Silenced Maternities in Argentina. Antipod. Rev. Antropol. Arqueol. [online]. 2024, n.54, pp.114-134.  Epub 20-Feb-2024. ISSN 1900-5407.

Archives have attracted renewed attention since the late 1990s and have been examined from different disciplinary perspectives. Far from being merely an artifact of power and at the service of states or colonial states (Stoler 2010), archives have also served to demonstrate and contest various forms of violence and thus shed light on different violations marked by their opacity. They are also reservoirs of social memory and bearers of a high affective and emotional value. The purpose of this work is to analyze the potential of a unique archive that we propose to create, based on a collaborative ethnographic research, to collect the testimonies of women who currently denounce having had their children separated from them at birth without their consent. The purpose of this archive will be to safeguard and emphasize the value of these stories, which for a long time were silenced and which not only reveal the different violent practices generally exerted on very young women who were forced to give up their children for adoption or were directly deprived of them, but also the prejudices and stigmas that later weighed on them. In this article we will examine the potential of building a documentary reservoir of this type and some of the challenges involved in this task. To do so, we first analyze the narratives of the women we have already interviewed in the framework of our research work, which focuses on the 2012-2022 period, in Argentina, in order to account for the particular characteristics of their stories and claims. These are semi-directed and in-depth interviews that we have conducted in an ethnographic research and that have allowed us to learn about and analyze the practices of which these women were victims and also the meanings that they attribute to them. Next, we present a review of some of the most important contributions that different authors have made on “alternative archives” or “community” archives. Thus, we argue that establishing an archive with silenced voices can serve as a tool to shed light on various violations and contribute to understanding different ways of managing “out-of-place motherhoods,” (Fonseca 2012) while also being a tool to challenge diverse forms of violence and serve as a mechanism for reparation.

Palabras clave : Archive; child stealing; identity; motherhood; violence..

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