H.I.J.O.S. and the Spectacular Denunciation of Impunity: The Struggle for Memory, Truth, and Justice and the (Re-)construction of Democracy in Argentina Articles uri icon



publication date

  • May 2013

start page

  • 259

end page

  • 276


  • 2


  • 12

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1475-4835

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1475-4843


  • The article analyzes how H.I.J.O.S. has rejuvenated the struggle for memory, truth, and justice in postauthoritarian Argentina, in particular through its carnivalesque demonstrations, the escraches. While they are often presented as a form of resistance that is democratic insofar as they foster participation in politics, the article warns against equating memory with both resistance and democracy. The relationship between them should be critically explored rather than taken for granted or ignored, which requires clarifying the conceptualization of democracy underling the analysis of memory struggles and practices. The article draws on theories of agonistic democracy to re-assess the politics of memory and highlight some of its limits and tensions through an analysis of the struggle and activism of H.I.J.O.S. in postauthoritarian Argentina. The implications for the (re-)construction of democracy are highlighted. The analysis of H.I.J.O.S. and the escraches is finally explained in the context of the reconceptualization of reconciliation as a political task by agonistic democracy. The conclusion reasserts the importance of exploring the relationship between memory and democracy for, if H.I.J.O.S. reminds us that remembering is as much about the past as it is forward-looking, it should not be forgotten that the future that memory struggles and practices envision is a democratic future