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Lecture, photographs examine Argentina’s 'Dirty War'

March 22, 2010

Sixty-three pictures, nine photographers, seven years of state-sponsored violence and one Regents’ Professor will tell the story of Argentina’s “Dirty War,” which will conclude the spring 2010 Humanities Lecture Series.

David William Foster will present “Contemporary Argentine Urban Photography: After the Dictatorship” April 15. Conducted by ASU’s School of Letters and Sciences and University College, the lecture starts at 6 p.m., at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation II, 550 N. Third St., Innovation Auditorium, room 110, Phoenix. The lecture will be followed by a book signing.

The lecture series and book signing are free and open to the public.

Foster, Regents’ Professor of Spanish, women’s studies, and interdisciplinary humanities, will examine the cultural impact of photography of nine photographers who chronicled Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983), a seven-year campaign by a series of military juntas against suspected dissidents and subversives. Many people, both opponents of the government as well as innocent people, “disappeared” in the middle of the night and were taken to secret government detentions where they were tortured and killed.

“What this military dictatorship did was engage in an Argentine genocide,” Foster said. “It was an onslaught against civil society and is considered that country’s darkest hour.”

The junta targeted women, children, homosexuals, Jews, students, activists and trade unionists as domestic subversives and were illegally arrested, incarcerated, killed and dumped in unmarked graves. Others were pushed out of planes (“death flights”) into the Río de la Plata or Atlantic Ocean to drown. Casualty counts from this war range from 10,000 to 30,000 people.

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David William Foster,
Regents’ Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies
School of International Letters and Cultures

(480) 965-3752