Discover how artistic expression helped generations of Argentinians work through their country’s troubled past and advocate for a brighter future.
Explore Buenos Aires to examine the role of art in remembering, moving forward, and working toward social transformation.
Discover the city’s multicultural, complex, and dynamic artistic scene and the importance of art in different social struggles related to the past and present.
Understand the relationships between art and nonviolence and the use of art as an expression of resilience and resistance.
Learn about Argentina’s experiences of state terrorism from 1976 to 1983 and the country’s active civil society, which works to encourage positive change.
Study under some of the country’s leading artists, photographers, sociologists, and anthropologists.
For example, Academic Director Agustina Triquell’s personal and collective work has been exhibited in museums and art centers in Córdoba, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santiago de Chile, and Asunción.
Participate in a weeklong photography workshop and create a short photo essay on a topic of your choice.
Visit emerging and established artists and community leaders to discover how they’re working toward social and global transformation.
Participate in collective art projects and discover how art can offer porteños, residents of Buenos Aires, ways to voice discontent and work for a more just future.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- Argentina’s experiences of state terrorism from 1976 to 1983
- Buenos Aires’ artwork, art movements, and art collectives
- The use of photography to document and protest political injustice
- The different social, cultural, and political layers that coexist in the city
- Ways in which artists employ emerging technologies and new mediums to extend their messages and bring Buenos Aires’s concerns into dialogue with global issues
The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
- Art, Memory, and Social Transformation Seminar – syllabus
- (LACB3000 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Both before and since the collapse of the dictatorship, Buenos Aires has been the scene of intense artistic work. In recent decades, the State and corporate funders, as well as alternative projects, NGOs, and groups working on the city streets, have propelled an unparalleled collective production of artistic work that has allowed people of multiple generations to work through the trauma of the past and advocate for social change in an extraordinarily inclusive manner. From street corner murals to large museums of international renown to tiny galleries, theatres, and bars, the city exudes creativity and intellectual engagement. In this seminar, which forms the core of the program, students explore Buenos Aires to ask the following questions: How has art offered recent generations of porteños (Buenos Aires residents) diverse means of voicing discontent and of advocating for a more just future? How do contemporary artists in Argentina work through the past and reimagine the present through art (whether on canvas or in sculpture, whether in gallery collections or on street walls)? How are artists using new technologies and new mediums to develop and extend their messages and bring Buenos Aires’ concerns into dialogue with global issues? The seminar is experiential in nature and takes students into museums, trauma and memory centers, and through Buenos Aires’ most interesting graffiti-filled streets. Students interact with a range of emerging and established artists and community leaders and consider the important role of the arts in Buenos Aires’ political and social life.
- Spanish in the Arts Context I – syllabus
- (SPAN2003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Spanish in the Arts Context II – syllabus
- (SPAN2503 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- Spanish in the Arts Context III – syllabus
- (SPAN3003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- In this course, students hone their speaking, reading, and writing skills through classroom and field instruction. Students advance their Spanish related to Argentine and Latin American culture and to the program theme in particular. Students are placed in small classes based on an in-country evaluation that tests both written and oral proficiency.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Local Excursions in Buenos Aires
You will meet local artists and visit art museums and galleries, collective project studios, trauma and memory centers, and areas with socially and politically significant street murals and graffiti. You will also visit marginalized neighborhoods within Buenos Aires to see the artistic work being done there.
At some of the most important modern and contemporary museums of Buenos Aires, you will experience the dialogue between artists from different Latin American countries and their connections with social movements over time. Museums include:
- Contemporary Art Center
- The Modern Art Museum of Buenos Aires
- The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires
- Contemporary Art Museum of Buenos Aires
- Recoleta Cultural Center
Find out how society is using memory to cope with tragedy with visits to memorial sites such as Olimpo Memorial Site and the Remembrance and Human Rights Center, both former detention and torture centers during the last dictatorship; and the Monument to the Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism in Memory Park. Here, you will participate in discussions about politics and memory and hear victims’ personal stories.
This five-day excursion will include a visit to the Archivo Provincial de la Memoria, a collection of information, testimonies, and documents pertaining to human rights violations during the 1970s. You will also visit Cordobazo, the site of one of the most significant civil uprisings in Argentine history, view art exhibitions, and visit the studios of artists whose work is tied to memories of the recent past.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
Agustina Triquell, PhD, Academic Director
Agustina holds a PhD in social sciences from IDES-General Sarmiento National University and a bachelor’s degree in social communication from Córdoba’s National University. Her doctoral research focused on the way photographic images build up subjectivities in different social contexts. Agustina has worked with various NGOs related to human rights and cultural diversity in Córdoba and Buenos Aires and coordinated art workshops with inmates at San Martin Penitentiary Unit. Since 2012 she has been a member of the Citizenship and Human Rights Program at IDES and has coordinated the NidoErrante Photography and Art Residency. Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow at the Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social.
Agustina’s research and teaching deal mainly with photographic images and their circulation in the public sphere, as well as photographic memories of the recent past. She is interested in unconventional academic formats such as nonfiction audiovisual works and photobooks. She works in collective projects regarding art, public archives, and social intervention in cities in Argentina and Latin America. Her personal and collective work has been exhibited in museums and art centers in Córdoba, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santiago de Chile, and Asunción.
Alejandra González, Program Assistant
Alejandra holds a degree in archaeology from Universidad de Buenos Aires, where she worked for several years as lecturer of social anthropology. Since 2002, she has been part of a research team investigating rock art in northwest Argentina. Every year she travels to Salta and Catamarca to do fieldwork, which includes photography, filming, and drawing. As a photographer she works in collective projects doing family photography reconstruction. Additionally, she is interested in found photography, public archives, family photograph albums, and photo books. She teaches pinhole photography at Devoto University Center with the Devoto Penitentiary Unit. Recently, she worked with Agustina Triquell to create the photography project Asunción Casa Editora.
Julieta Impemba, Homestay Coordinator
Julieta joined SIT’s semester program Argentina: Transnationalism and Comparative Development in South America in 2012, and in January 2013 assumed the role of homestay and student affairs coordinator. In 2013, Julieta worked together with program staff and students to publish a book about women’s rights entitled Desarrollo y Derechos de las Mujeres: Participación y liderazgo en Organizaciones Comunitarias. She has an undergraduate degree in social sciences, humanities, and economics from Universidad Argentina de la Empresa.
Faculty and lecturers typically include:
Victoria Daona, PhD Candidate
Victoria holds a degree in literature from the National University of Tucumán and a master’s degree in social sciences from the National University of General Sarmiento (UNGS) and the Institute for Economic and Social Development (IDES). She is a PhD candidate in social sciences at UNGS/IDES. Since 2008, she has integrated research projects on the memories of repression in the Southern Cone, its representations, poetics, and imagery. She is a member of the project Poetics of Memory in Argentina and Uruguay, the Grupo Interdisciplinario de Investigadores en Formación del IDES, and the editorial committee of the academic journal Prácticas de Oficio: Investigación y Reflexión en Ciencias Sociales. She has published articles in national and international journals about state terrorism of the 1970s. Her research focuses on the links between literature and dictatorships in the Southern Cone, with attention to contemporary novels in Argentina.
Ludmila Da Silva Catela, PhD
Ludmila holds a PhD in cultural anthropology and a magister in sociology from the Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro. She is a lecturer and researcher at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and author of the book No habrá flores en la tumba del pasado: La experiencia de reconstrucción del mundo de familiares de desaparecidos. She co-edited Los archivos de la represión: Documentos, memoria y verdad and Fotografía, memoria e identidad. She has published numerous articles regarding violence and memory. Between 2006 and 2015 she was director of the Archivo Provincial de la Memoria Córdoba. Currently, she is an independent director with the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and a lecturer at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
Elizabeth Jelin, PhD
Elizabeth is an Argentine sociologist well known for her work in human rights, the memory of political repression, citizenship, social movements, gender, and the family. She obtained a PhD in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her books include Los trabajos de la memoria (a new edition was published in English in 2012 as State Repressions and the Labors of Memory), Fotografía e identidad, and Women and Social Change in Latin America. She has been a member of international academic boards including the Social Science Research Council, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the Institute of Labor Studies at the ILO, and the ISA. She is a member of the academic board of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, a senior researcher at CONICET and professor in the doctoral program in the social sciences at Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento – IDES. In 2013, she was awarded the highest prize for science in Argentina, the Bernardo Houssay National Prize for a Research Career in the Social Sciences.
Sebastián Russo, PhD candidate
Sebastián holds a degree in sociology and is a PhD candidate at Universidad de Buenos Aires. He is a lecturer in art sociology and anthropology and in visual sociology, both at UBA and as visiting professor at Universidad Autónoma de Oaxaca in Mexico. He has published books on image, memory, and cinema including: Coutinho: Cine de conversación y antropología salvaje, Jorge Sanjines y el grupo Ukamau, Santiago Alvarez: Reflexiones, testimonios, relámpagos en un instante de peligro, and Las luciérnagas y la noche: Reflexiones en torno a Pier Paolo Pasolini. He is also the author of Interior, a brief novel published by Milena Caserola. A member of the academic board of the Argentine Association of Cinema Studies, he writes for and is an editorial board member of the cultural journals Tierra en Trance, En ciernes Epistolarias, and Carapachay.
Pablo Vitale, PhD candidate
Pablo has a degree in political science from Universidad de Buenos Aires, where he also is a lecturer and a PhD candidate in social sciences. His research interests focus on public policies and local organizations in disinvested neighborhoods, or villas. He is a member of the urban studies area of the Gino Germani Research Institute and carries out projects that link habitats with photography. Since 1999, he has coordinated informal education workshops on photography and cartography for youth in Villa 31 in Buenos Aires and other disadvantaged areas of the city. He is also photographer and member of the Photographic Studies Area at from Universidad de Buenos Aires. His work has been shown in individual and collective exhibitions.
The art of the city goes well beyond the concept of self-expression and creativity, but rather it is a strategy to initiate a conversation.
The art of the city goes well beyond the concept of self-expression and creativity, but rather it is a strategy to initiate a conversation. It brings a much larger purpose to the work, as art is a language that has endured through time and history within every culture and society in some form or another. I experienced a firsthand exposure to a form of art that is actively integrated into social problems and is used to overcome these challenges.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.
Living with a host family in Buenos Aires for most of this program you will improve your language skills and better understand urban Argentine life. Buenos Aires offers an outstanding array of cultural assets and offerings to enjoy with your family. Typically, host families come from middle-class backgrounds and work in many different fields. They live in apartments or small houses in the Recoleta, Palermo, Caballito, Villa Crespo, Boedo, Nuñez, and Belgrano neighborhoods, which are all relatively close to Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social, where many classes are held. All host families share a strong interest in having a valuable educational exchange experience with their SIT student.
You will have the opportunity to engage not only in your host family's daily routines — which could include shopping, family dinners, and visits with neighbors — but also in cultural activities. Many students join their host family in visiting museums, going to concerts, spending time at neighborhood street markets, attending sports events such as soccer matches, taking weekend trips, or enjoying family celebrations, including birthday parties and national holidays.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels and/or small hotels.
You will participate in a weeklong workshop on the use of photography in Argentina and create a short photo essay on a topic of your choice. You will also participate in an ongoing art project in a villa miseria, a marginalized barrio where migrants use art for both personal and social expression.
Cost and Scholarships
Cost and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
This program is eligible for a New Horizons Grant, a scholarship for our new programs. Award amounts are $2,500 for semester and $1,500 for summer programs. Students demonstrating need through their submitted scholarship application will be eligible.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Art, memory, and social transformation
- Spanish language
- All educational excursions
- Health insurance throughout the entire program period
Room & Board: $2,000
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes orientation, time in the program base (Buenos Aires), all excursions, and during the evaluation period
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered by SIT Study Abroad, directly or through a stipend
Estimated Additional Costs:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Visa Expenses: $160
Books & Supplies: $200
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.