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The Power of Words: Argentina's Missing Generation

Student News | Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Opening on Monday, September 17, the Library will host an exhibition in coordination with Dr. Guadalupe Pina, Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Languages, the Argentinean Network for the Right to Identity Canada/USA and the Grandmothers of May Square entitled, “The Power of Words: Argentina's Missing Generation”.

In 1979, a group of Argentinean political exiles and Canadian sympathizers organized a letter-writing campaign in support of the pleas of the Grandmothers of May Square. The Grandmothers of May Square are those whose pregnant daughters and infant grandchildren were stolen away in the turmoil of the 1976-1983 civil-military dictatorship of Argentina. The fight to recover their approximately 500 kidnapped grandchildren and discover the fate of the thousands of disappeared adults continues today. 

They were part of a larger movement called the Group for the Defense of Civil Rights in Argentina, and worked together with Development and Peace in Canada and Catholic Women's League of Canada. Organizers reported that more than 170,000 letters and cards passed through the Argentinean Central Post Office to these Grandmothers.

This exhibition tracks back part of the international solidarity with the mission of the Grandmothers during the late 1970s. The different sections are a travel in time, showing visitors what the world was like in 1979, the letter campaign and its protagonists, a sample of 300 letters and cards, the responses that Argentineans wrote during a 2017 presentation of the exhibition in Argentina, and a mapping of the Grandmothers' search history since their formation.

In an effort to virtually support the exhibition, the library has built a website highlighting a comprehensive collection of resources to learn more about this period in Latin American history. The website may be visited here.

The exhibition will be on view on the second floor of the library through October 15. 

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