(Dis)Appear, dir. Piotr Cieplak, United Kingdom 2023, 65 min.
A special presentation of the documentary, focusing on the most recent Argentine dictatorship, as part of The British Academy’s Summer Showcase. The military dictatorship in Argentina (1976 – 83) disappeared and/or killed 30,000 people. Private archive and family album photographs repurposed for public protest and commemoration have played a key role in the memorialisation of the victims, and the ongoing struggle for recognition and justice. Four decades later, these photographs continue to traverse the complex space between private and public mourning, activism and politics.
(Dis)Appear is a documentary about the most recent Argentine dictatorship and the enduring importance of vernacular photographs in memorial practices. It focuses on two protagonists: Gabriel Orge, an Argentine photographer known for his large-scale projections of the photos of the disappeared in public spaces; and Ana Illovich, an author and survivor of La Perla, a clandestine torture and detention centre in Argentina.
While sharing their own photography-related stories and practices, the protagonists introduce the audience to the complex phenomenon of public display of personal photographs in the context of political violence – a practice pioneered in Argentina, but one which has since spread globally.
This UK premiere will include a post-screening Q&A with its director, British Academy-funded researcher Piotr Cieplak, whose research project Intimate moments, public acts: photographs of the disappeared and memory politics in Argentina produced this film.
The British Academy’s Summer Showcase
is a one-day festival of ideas for curious minds taking place throughout 10 – 11 Carlton House Terrace, next door to the ICA, on Saturday 17 June. Meet the thinkers shaping our world through pioneering social sciences and humanities research via a programme of workshops, pop-up talks, film screenings, panel discussions and performances.