Memory and Justice:
Impressions of Disappearance in Argentina
The former Escuela de Mecanica de la Armada (aka ex ESMA) is the site of one of the most notorious torture and disappearance centers during the last Argentinian dictatorship. An estimated 5,000 people were processed through this former school for navy mechanics. Only about 200 detainees emerged alive; the rest are counted among the 30,000 disappeared.
The images in this show are Estelle’s artistic response to a deeply haunting place and the terrifying memories it holds.
“There are many trees and fascinating textures, accompanied by the unsettling screeching of hundreds of parrots and the disheveled aspects of many buildings. I wander the site, trying to make sense of what happened. I despair at the fact that humans connected to this place stole newborns from the arms of their mothers and pushed people alive from cargo planes into the sea. I marvel at the fact that anyone emerged alive. And I rejoice at the fact that many of the children born there and placed in illegal adoptions have been found and learned their real identities.”
The ex ESMA campus in Argentina is a mix of horror and justice. In 2004 it was declared a Memory and Human Rights Space and human rights organizations now have displays and archives in many buildings. Educational placards line the roadways offering stories about the disappeared and historical information about the dictatorship and the justice that followed.
Estelle will donate all profit from the sale of these images to the
Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo. https://www.abuelas.org.ar/