Syracuse Symposium presents exiled Argentine artists Paula Luttringer, Margarita Drago Sept. 16
Syracuse Symposium presents exiled Argentine artists Paula Luttringer, Margarita Drago Sept. 16August 27, 2008Rob Enslinrmenslin@syr.edu
The 2008 Syracuse Symposium continues its theme of “migration” with a joint presentation by two Argentine artists who suffered exile and compulsory silence: photographer Paula Luttringer and memoirist Margarita Drago. The free event is Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. in Watson Auditorium of the Light Work/Community Darkrooms (316 Waverly Ave.) on the Syracuse University campus.
Paid parking is available in the Marion Lot (intersection of Walnut and Waverly avenues) and in the Booth Garage (Comstock Avenue, between Waverly Avenue and Marshall Street). For more information, call Light Work at (315) 443-1300.
Born in La Plata, Argentina, Luttringer went into exile after being kidnapped as a college student in 1977 and held for five months in a secret detention center. Upon returning to Argentina in 1995, she turned to photography as a means of expressing the intersection between her country’s recent history and her own story. Also a political prisoner, Drago is the author of numerous newspaper and journal articles, and of the best-selling memoir “Memory Tracks: Fragments From Prison (1975-1980)” (Editorial Campana, 2007). She also has represented her native country in congresses of the United States, Mexico, Peru and France.
“The audience will have the rare opportunity to interact with two premier artists: one working with the camera and the other with the pen,” says Silvio Torres-Saillant, event co-organizer and SU professor of Latino-Latin American Studies (LLAS). During the program, Luttringer will show and discuss some of her photography and Drago will read excerpts of “Memory Tracks” in Spanish, with English translations. The evening continues with an audience discussion and readings of testimonies, by LLAS students in English and Spanish, from women unlawfully imprisoned by the Argentine military.
A 2001 Guggenheim Fellow, Luttringer is responsible for several award-winning projects, including “El Matadero” (“The Slaughterhouse”) and “El Lamento de los Muros” (“The Wailing of the Walls”). Her photography is part of the permanent collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Modern Art, both in Buenos Aires; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; the George Eastman House in Rochester; Portland Art Museum in Oregon; La Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris; and the Portuguese Photography Centre in Portugal.
In addition to speaking at SU, Luttringer will spend the month of September as a Light Work Artist-in-Residence, working on a book about Argentine women. Since 2000, she has made numerous trips to Argentina to document women who, like her, were illegally removed. Luttringer is one of more than 300 artists who, since 1976, have participated in Light Work’s acclaimed residency program.
A resident of the United States since 1980, Drago is professor of Spanish language and literature and of bilingual education at York College of the City University New York. She also is vice president of the Latino Artists Round Table, for which she organizes lectures, presentations and conferences at universities and cultural centers.
According to United Nations reports, Argentina has a pernicious history of human rights abuses, with four out of every 10 women suffering emotional, physical or sexual abuse. During Argentina’s 1976-83 military dictatorship, thousands of women were forcibly incarcerated by the regime. “As victims of the intolerance and fear of truth that dictatorships and false democracies typically perpetuate in the presence of free-thinking women, Paula Luttringer and Margarita Drago will empower us with their tale of how imprisonment fueled their art,” says Torres-Saillant.
Presented by Syracuse Symposium, the evening is co-sponsored by Light Work and LLAS. Syracuse Symposium is an annual, semester-long intellectual and artistic festival, hosted for SU by The College of Arts and Sciences. More information is available at http://syracusesymposium.org.