Online talk: The Siluetazo: Absence as Presence and Political Force, 17 Nov 5-7pm

Dr Eve Kalyva, Lecturer in Art History (University of Kent)


The Histories: Art, Drama and Film Research Group is very pleased to invite you to an online research talk by Dr Eve Kalyva, Lecturer in Art History (University of Kent)

The Siluetazo: Absence as Presence and Political Force

Wednesday 17 November, 5pm-7pm (GMT) 

You can register for free here


Abstract: Empty human silhouettes were first marked out in 1983 at a march for the 30,000 people forcefully disappeared during the last Argentine civic-military dictatorship and placed throughout the city of Buenos Aires; they have since been used by the social justice movement as one of the most potent symbols of resistance and (artistic) activism. These silhouettes are not visualisations of absence, portraits commemorating the dead or symbols of mourning and loss. Rather, and based on co-creation, appropriation and (dis)placement in space and time, they seek to actively claim a presence. By examining its communicative value and social dimension, I argue that the siluetazo not only embodies collective memory but can be understood as a political force that activates solidarity and social resistance.



Biography: Eve Kalyva is lecturer at the Department of Art History, University of Kent and guest researcher at the University of Amsterdam, where she co-coordinates the research group Global Trajectories of Thought and Memory: Art and the Global South. Eve works on the relations across art, language and politics, from the 1970s and conceptual art to contemporary forms of art and activism. Eve has a particular interest in Latin America and the process of transition to democracy, and on transatlantic exchanges with Europe and North America. She is author of Image and Text in Conceptual Art: Critical Operations in Context (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and has published articles in parallax, Caiana, Latin American Research Review and Social Semiotics.