Journal of Romance Studies

Their lives after: Theatre as testimony and the so-called ‘second generation’ in post-dictatorship Argentina

Journal of Romance Studies (2013), 13, (3), 6–16.

Abstract

In this article, I will examine the play Mi vida después [My Life After], in which six professional actors present and re-enact the stories of their parents’ experiences of state terror in Argentina, as well as their own relationship with that past. In other analyses of this production, authors have turned to Marianne Hirsch’s notion of postmemory in order to examine the generational dimensions of trauma and its remembrance. I will argue against this approach to understanding the experience of the so-called ‘second generation’ in Argentina in general and the ‘hijos de desaparecidos’ [children of disappeared] in particular. Instead, this article aims to show how Mi vida después highlights the need to search for new categories that can account for what this group of former child victims has lived firsthand. In addition, I will suggest that this play could be understood as a collective performance of testimony that relates not to the atrocities committed in the recent past as such, but to how those who were children at the time, whether or not they were physically affected by state violence, deal with the legacy today.

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Author details

Perez, Mariana Eva