The Prisons of the Last Argentinian Dictatorship: Spaces of Intellectual Formation and Creation

  • Amandine Guillard Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios sobre Cultura y Sociedad


There is no more need to show that the places of imprisonment, in Argentina and elsewhere, have produced the opposite effect of what the dictatorial regime had predicted. Imprisonment, silence and repression did not make minds barren and neither did it neutralize the cricitical mind or prevent people from acting and creating. The testimonies of former political prisoners and the tremendous amount of artworks which were born in the prisons of the last dictatorship prove it, once again. The aim of this article is to study two aspects in particular which allow to consider the Argentinian prisons as genuine spaces of formation and creation: on the one hand, the strategies elaborated by the political prisoners to maintain a certain level of intellectual formation (lessons, work groups, reading), and on the other hand, the literary and artistic productions made in prison (poems, correspondence, short stories, drawings...), which prove the existence of an active network of resistance against the repression exerted by the authoritarian regime.

Key-words: prison; Argentinian dictatorship; formation; creation; reading; writing

Dossier: Textures of the 60s/70s