Skip to Content

Gandsman, Ari. "The Ex-Disappeared in Post-Dictatorship Argentina: The Work of Testimony and Survivors at the Margins." In Beyond Testimony and Trauma: Oral History in the Aftermath of Mass Violence, edited by Steven High, 31-53. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015.


This chapter examines the small number of those who survived being “disappeared” during the 1976-83 dictatorship in Argentina, and their marginalized position in society as they are suspected of having stayed alive because they collaborated with the regime. Gandsman examines Primo Levi’s concept of a “grey zone” regarding the “blurred boundaries between perpetrators and victims.” Despite the fact that these survivors have been essential in providing testimony regarding what happened, those who died have become the venerated “heroes” while the survivors have become ostracized and, to an extent, non-existent as a phrase used to describe that historical era is: “The voice of that generation is absent.” In order to protect themselves, the “surviving disappeared” organized associations in order to be able to continue their work to fight for justice and make sure that the historical record will reflect their experiences accurately.

Shannon Leggett