Presentation of the book “Tribunas sin Pueblo”, by Gustavo Campana

In the context of the temporary exhibition THE WORLD CUP AT ESMA. Testimonies, Objects and Experiences. Living in the Clandestine Center During the 1978 World Cup, the presentation of the book Tribunas sin Pueblo. Vuelta olímpica en orsai del país neoliberal (No People in the Grandstands. An Offside Victory Run in the Neoliberal Country), by Gustavo Campana, which gathered more than 100 people in the audience and was presented by journalist Víctor Hugo Morales; comedian and writer Adrián Stoppelman, human rights journalist Luciana Bertoia, and the author.

Journalist Luciana Bertoia began by reflection on the subtitle of the book ‘An Offside Victory Run in the Neoliberal Country’: “To think about what this offside victory lap takes us back to the horror that took place here, a few blocks away from the stadium. This book allows us to reflect on this connection between politics, repression, and the media.”.

Next, it was the turn of Víctor Hugo Morales: “I was observing the silence we all made when we watched this footage about the trials  –referring to the screening of material featuring information on the cases and sentences related to ESMA in Golden Room–  with the joy of that moment when the World Cup was taking place. This is a book that sheds some light and points it towards other areas on the stage that are not the main scene, and informs us about things that even if we know them, we don’t have a good handle on. This is an instructive, moving, and terrifying journalistic possibility.

Also, Adrián Stoppelman remembered his collaboration as a witness for Campana’s book: “I came to join Gustavo, with whom I shared my World Cup anecdotes. When I was 16 I had already gone to soccer matches on stadiums many times, but something happened on those World Cup matches. Whenever they played the national anthem we saw people that came out from the crowd and yelled ´Sing loud, damn it, it’s the image of Argentine abroad’. Others confirmed that story in other parts of the stadium. It makes you think … how you were in that thing without knowing what was going on”.

On his part, Gustavo Campana spoke about some of the content of the book before an attentive and eager audience. “The last dictatorship understood pretty quickly that they could turn the World Cup into the biggest media operation to counter the Anti-Argentine campaign”, he said, summing up the theme of the book.