MA reveals final conference keynote

Simon Stephens, 12.10.2017
Alejandra Naftal is the director of a museum that remembers the victims of Argentina’s former military regime
Alejandra Naftal, the director and co-curator of the Esma Memory Site Museum, a former clandestine centre for detention, torture and extermination in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been confirmed as the final keynote speaker for the Museums Association Conference & Exhibition in Manchester, 16-18 November.

The Esma Memory Site Museum opened in 2015 as testimony to the human rights violations carried out from 1976 to 1983 by Argentina’s military dictatorship, which took the lives of 30,000 people. The museum now serves as condemnation, proof and evidence of the acts of state terrorism that were committed.

Naftal herself was arrested and disappeared in 1978 while she was a high school student. She was freed in 1979 and then was exiled until 1983.

The other conference keynotes are poet Lemn Sissay, comedian Francesca Martinez and historian and broadcaster David Olusoga.

There will be also in an in-conversation session featuring artist Jeremy Deller and Jenny Waldman, the director of 14-18 NOW, a five-year programme of arts experiences connecting people with the first world war. This will be chaired by John McGrath, the CEO and artistic director of the Manchester International Festival, it has just been confirmed.

Olusoga is one of three presenters of the forthcoming Civilisations BBC series. The BBC will have a stand at the exhibition in Manchester, where it will tell visitors and delegates more about the festival that it is planning to accompany the series.

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