Argentina

Memory and Social Activism Through the Arts

Discover how artistic expression and social activism helped generations of Argentinians reconcile their troubled past and advocate for a brighter future.

At a Glance

Credits

6

Prerequisites

None

Language of Study

Spanish

Courses taught in

English

Dates

Jun 22 ‎– Aug 2

Program Countries

Argentina

Program Base

Buenos Aires

Critical Global Issue of Study

Peace & Justice

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Identity & Human Resilience

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Overview

Why Argentina?

Explore how Argentina’s experiences of state terrorism from 1976 to 1983 have resulted in an engaged civil society and social activism. Living in Buenos Aires, you’ll discover the city’s multicultural, complex, and dynamic arts scene while examining the role of art in understanding and remembering the recent past, moving forward, and expressing resilience and resistance, including the importance of making visible more marginalized populations.

As part of this program, you will study under nationally recognized and emerging artists, visit their studios, and gain experience in a weeklong photography workshop where you will create a photo essay on a topic of your choice. Take part in collective art projects, excursion to sites of civil resistance, and discover how art, art collectives, and art movements can offer ways to voice discontent and work for a more just future.

You’ll also advance your Spanish language skills, particularly in relation to Argentine and Latin American culture and art, through 45 hours of classroom lessons, cultural immersion, and homestays.

Highlights

  • Examine the role of art in memory and social transformation in Buenos Aires.
  • Explore the use of art in expressions of resilience and nonviolent resistance.
  • Study with feminists, LGBTQI+ activists, leading artists, and anthropologists.
  • Participate in a weeklong photography workshop and create a short photo essay.

Prerequisites

None

Excursions

Local Excursions in Buenos Aires

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 see visual representations and performances of struggles against inequalities, and visit marginalized neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.

At some of the most important modern and contemporary museums, you will engage in dialogue with artists across Latin America and their connections with social movements and activists.

Córdoba

This five-day excursion will include a visit to the Archivo Provincial de la Memoria, a collection of testimonies, information, and documents pertaining to human rights violations during the 1970s. You will also visit the site where the Cordobazo occurred, one of the most significant civil uprisings in Argentine history. View art exhibitions memorializing this event, and visit the studios of artists whose work is tied to memories of recent past.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Academics

Coursework

This program’s coursework teaches students about Argentina’s state terrorism of the 1970s and 1980s and the active civil society that has grown out of those experiences. It also explores the role art plays in resistance, memory, and social transformation. Seminars, lectures, and workshops are conducted in English, or in Spanish with interpretation, by leading Argentine artists, anthropologists, photographers, and sociologists, with field visits to museums, memory centers, art studios, and exhibits.

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.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • 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 coexisting in the city
  • Artists’ use of technology and new mediums to create dialogue on global issues

Memory and Social Activism Through the Arts Seminar

Memory and Social Activism Through the Arts Seminar – syllabus
(LACB 3000 / 3 credits)

Both before and since the collapse of the dictatorship, Buenos Aires has been the scene of intense artistic work. In recent decades an unparalleled collective production of art has emerged 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. The “green wave” that has flooded the streets of Buenos Aires is now bringing together women and LGBTQI+ activists and social movements who are demanding women’s reproductive health rights. This movement is merging with the anti-gender violence activists and the women from the Madres and Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, who burst into the public sphere to denounce the disappearance of their sons and daughters kidnapped by State Terrorism. This course examines the intersection of these movements and the importance of making visible their struggles. The visual dimensions of social movements in Argentina is also seen through the artistic representations and performance of struggles against inequalities in the street, theaters and museums. This seminar will be experiential in nature and take students through Buenos Aires’ most interesting art projects, dealing with literature, filmmaking, theater and music. Students will 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

Spanish in the Arts Context I – syllabus
(SPAN 1003 / 3 credits)

Spanish in the Arts Context II – syllabus
(SPAN 2003 / 3 credits)

Spanish in the Arts Context III – syllabus
(SPAN 3003 / 3 credits)

In this course, students develop 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.

Homestays

Buenos Aires

By 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 of the program’s classes are held. All host families share a strong interest in having a valuable educational exchange experience with the student they host.

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

Hostels or small hotels

Faculty & Staff

Argentina: Memory and Social Activism Through the Arts

Agustina Triquell, PhD
Academic Director
Alejandra González
Program Assistant
Julieta Impemba
Homestay Coordinator

Discover the Possibilities

  • COST & 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.

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  • Photography Workshop

    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 different ongoing art projects in marginalized social contexts.

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