The survivors of the systematic plan for the disappearance of people are the voices that let the world know about what happened in Argentina since the beginning of the dictatorship. Their testimonies allowed thousands of the detained-disappeared to be identified, deciphered the names of the perpetrators, described the extermination of thousands of prisoners through the death flights and identified the pregnant women who were kept alive until they gave birth to their children.
Today, the content of the ESMA Museum and Site of Memory is based on the voices of the survivors: it is one of its main collections. The decision to screen the testimonies of the trials was one of the main curatorial choices for the exhibitions: the judicial truth produced an undeniable understanding across Argentine society and contributed to the overwhelming consensus on “Nunca Mas” (Never Again).
The document archive features more than 700 testimonies that were presented before the Argentine courts. The testimonies were originally given at the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) in 1984, the Trial of the Juntas in 1985 and the trials for crimes against humanity that began after the judicial process was re-enabled in 2004.
The Museum’s testimonial archive is constantly updated as survivors continue to testify before the courts, producing new information.
The exhibition displays only one part of the collection of testimonies. The complete archive serves as a documentary source for the artistic productions created for the Museum’s activities and temporary exhibitions.