Poesand#237;a Diaria Exhibit Commemorates the and#145;Disappeared'

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Poesand#237;a Diaria, a selection of commemorative tributes published by the families of the 30,000 Argentinians and#145;disappeared' and kidnapped during the military junta dictatorship, 1976-1983, will have its second viewing in Canada at UPEI, July 6 to14, as a part of the 10th International Conference for the Centre for the Study of the Literatures and Civilizations of the River Plate (Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay). The opening ceremony for the display will take place at 5:00 pm on July 6 in the Faculty Lounge of Main Building. Members of the public are welcome.

In the 1970s, in a number of countries in South America, most notably Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, governments were overthrown in coups and were ruled by military dictatorships for the next decades. As many as 3,000 persons in Chile and#145;disappeared' during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship. In Uruguay 2,000 were killed, a high number relative to the size of the population. In Argentina's dirty wars, the new regime launched a total campaign of suppression against and#145;subversives' and tried to cleanse the country of all leftist affiliations, from labor unions to people working in soup kitchens. Babies born to captive mothers were taken away from their biological families and given to military officers to raise as their own.

The people of Argentina turned to poetry as a way of secretly keeping the spirit of those and#145;disappeared' alive. Groups such as Madres de Plaza de Mayo, an Argentine women's human rights organization, led the poetic spirit in the population literally too traumatized to speak out. This exhibition is a tribute by the families using poetry as an outlet, around the theme "porque el silencio es mortal - because silence is mortal."

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Anne McCallum
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