Natasha Zaretsky, "Acts of Repair: Justice, Truth, and the Politics of Memory in Argentina" (Rutgers UP, 2020)

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Acts of Repair: Justice, Truth, and the Politics of Memory in Argentina (Rutgers UP, 2020) explores how ordinary people grapple with political violence in Argentina, a nation home to survivors of multiple genocides and periods of violence, including the Holocaust, the political repression of the 1976-1983 dictatorship, and the 1994 AMIA bombing. Despite efforts for accountability, the terrain of justice has been uneven and, in many cases, impunity remains. How can citizens respond to such ongoing trauma? Within frameworks of transitional justice, what does this tell us about the possibility of recovery and repair? Turning to the lived experience of survivors and family members of victims of genocide and violence, Natasha Zaretsky argues for the ongoing significance of cultural memory as a response to trauma and injustice, as revealed through testimonies and public protests. Even if such repair may be inevitably liminal and incomplete, their acts seeking such repair also yield spaces for transformation and agency critical to personal and political recovery.

Jeff Bachman is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC.

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