Performing Protest

  • Victoria Lynn Garrett
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


Argentina’s biopolitical institutions like the National Department of Hygiene purported to safeguard citizens’ bodies against a wide range of microbial threats, which they usually associated with foreigners, the working classes, strikers, protesters, and anarchists. Carlos Mauricio Pacheco’s El diablo en el conventillo, Los disfrazados, and Barracas, and Armando Discépolo’s La fragua challenge this notion by placing working-class homes of diverse backgrounds at the center of the society that must be defended. They reframe rebellion and protest movements as necessary responses to local ecologies, and suggest that social justice will be achieved through cross-cultural alliances grounded in working-class solidarity. Moreover, while hygienic principles relied on the belief that individuals and their environments could and should be subjected to the discipline of a rational-scientific ordering of society, these works destabilize this notion by signaling ephemeral zones that escape or evade this control, rendering the logic of biopolitics unstable at best.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria Lynn Garrett
    • 1
  1. 1.College of CharlestonCharlestonUSA

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