Cristina Demaria: Turning places into spaces of memory

Date: 25/11/2019

Time: 17.30 - 19.30

Location: H401

Turning places into spaces of memory – filming the ESMA

How can moving images represent a space of trauma? How can they change our perception of a place and turn it into a space for remembrance, a landscape of a collective memory? By meditating on how space can be represented, conveyed and appropriated by the cinematic apparatus, and by calling into question the historical, political and philosophical aspects of a semio-aesthetics of spatiality, the lecture will focus on two documentary films by the Argentine director Jonathan Perel that visually explore the ‘site’ of the ESMA, the main centre of clandestine detention and torture during the dictatorship, now turned into a museum/site of memory (Museo Sitio de Memoria ESMA).

Cristina Demaria is Associate Professor of Semiotics at the Department of Philosophy and Communication Studies of the University of Bologna, where she teaches Semiotics of conflict and Analysis of audio-visual languages. She has worked extensively on the representation of violent memories, on different genres of testimonies, and on the visual archives of traumas, with a particular focus on their gendered dimensions. Her latest works are: Teorie di genere. Femminismi e semiotica (Milano, Bompiani, 2019), and Post-conflict Cultures. A Reader (London, Critical, Cultural and Communication Press, 2019).


This public lecture will be held in English and is free of charge. Would you like to attend? Please RSVP: with your name(s) and the title of the event.

This evening programme takes place in the framework of SPEME ‘Questioning Traumatic Heritage: Spaces of Memory in Europe, Argentina, Colombia’

During the month of November, all participants of SPEME are staying and researching in Amsterdam. They will be our special guests of the evening! They are connected to the following organisations:

Alma Mater Studiorum – Universität di Bologna, Italy
Universidad Nacional de Colombia / Bogota, Colombia
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fondazione Recupero e Valorizzazione Della Memoria Storica Del Campo di Fossoli, Italy
Museum de Sitio Esma – Ex Centro Clandestino de Detención, Tortura y Exterminio, Argentina
Universiteit van Amsterdam Memory Studies. The Netherlands
Stichting H401, The Netherlands