In 2018, the research project began to take shape Rape cultures. Feminist approaches from the south, with the aim of forming a theoretical-methodological framework on the resignification of the notion and constructions of “rape cultures”.
A team of 9 women from the National University of La Rioja (UNLaR),It was proposed to investigate “the different symbolic strata and practices, discourses and regulations, artistic representations and patriarchal and colonial myths, invisibilizations and revictimizations, among other cultural elements, crossed by our own configurations of gender / class / race, which enables a greater understanding of the complexities that rape cultures build to configure new categories and genealogies from situated perspectives”.
After research and theoretical review on feminisms from the north and south, the fieldwork included conducting 7 interviews with people with different profiles.
“We were interested in looking at the concept of rape culture, who looked at that concept and if there was an interest in that concept from the academy, because a lot of work had been done in feminisms from the north, but not so in feminisms from the south and in Argentina. We didn’t see that term. We are interested because they are used in the testimonies of the survivors, in how they appropriated them and what they mean in that use. Also incorporate the concept of countercultures that is built to oppose rape culture, ”he explained to La Rioja/12 Magdalena Díaz Araujo, historian and professor at UNLAR, promoter of the project.
Taly Baran Attias, anthropologist (CONICET), commented that “it was necessary to go out of the university to the militancies to seek and validate that knowledge of those who come putting their bodies on it, intervening, rethinking and from their role (as researchers) to establish a dialogue between the academy and the knowledge about these discourses that were available”.
In the cycle of interviews are the stories of survivors such as Lucila Maraga, defender of human and social rights, Analía Yoma, communicator, journalist, teacher and feminist and Julián Bártoli, businessman, survivor and member of the Network of Survivors of Ecclesiastical Abuses of Argentina.
Also Lili Rodríguez, feminist and psychologist of the Network of Survivors of Ecclesiastical Abuses of Argentina, María Cecilia Pagani, writer and teacher from La Rioja, Claudia Cabrera, Referent ESI primary level in La Rioja, and Juan Gabriel Funes Grimaux, cultural manager, transfeminist artivist.
Macarena Mercado Mott, a political scientist (CONICET), interviewed Lucía Maraga, recognized for her fight for human rights and a feminist activist in La Rioja. “For Lucia the concept of survivor of sexual violence had a history and is to be a survivor of state terrorism. He told me that defining himself as a survivor has nothing to do with surviving, that is, continuing to live after something that happens to you, but that it made no sense if there was no one else who listened to those people and referred to Justice. It is useless for us to talk without someone who listens, ”Mercado Mott rescues from that story.
“I linked it to a political question of saying we are no longer victims but survivors and she told me that everything lost meaning if it was not listened to and if there was no justice. It is those voices that stretch those concepts”, affirms the politician and adds: “they fought against state terrorism and achieved that the violations in the clandestine centers are considered crimes against humanity. He did not speak of reparation, but he did make visible how the violations were disciplinary practices.”
Barán Attias interviewed a survivor of ecclesiastical sexual abuse. “He had to interview a survivor of the Ecclesiastical Abuse Network, an adult male, and he told me that he was able to understand what he systematically experienced in his childhood and adolescence when he listened to Thelma Fardin and that is impressive. That one can be mirrored in another experience and that part of that biography of a person speaks of the systematic and the political and that it is not something isolated. There is a systematicity and that is why it is so enormous when a survivor speaks and others feel part of the story”.
He also considered that “there is a key element in the culture of rape and that is collectively sustained impunity” and for this reason he warns that a piece of information that came out in all the interviews is that “the judicial system is a cover-up. Those who define the categories are the legal discourses, it is the perfect trap to sustain the culture of rape”.
“There are certain roles and hierarchies that are part of our Latin American sense and I think of the role of priests and that they can take a lot of children to a camp and families understand that the best place for their children is a camp or a parish and that are enablers of abusive and violent practices.”
Diaz Araujo adds that “to the process of survival you have to think about the need for the collective, that construction that sustains you.”
Victoria Estrada, is a political scientist and affirms that “the counterculture of rape is putting into words. To identify yourself as a survivor is to put into words what happens to you so that other people can identify, in that story, their own experiences, which, like that struggle, is necessarily collective to feel accompanied. Rape culture is also collective and does not happen in isolation. It legitimizes and naturalizes and much has to do with what is not spoken from that concept or words are used to refer to this violence.
“Putting into words is the counterculture of rape. I think of literature from (Cecilia) Pagani in Rioja to Despentes. Symbolically, that resistance is essential to have the story and achieve that resistance from the word that can be written or any type of expression. Pagani questions a lot of rape culture issues and is encouraged to do so.”
Mercado Mott points out the framework in which this culture is built and which includes the judiciary, the media, education, religion. “They are giant structures that operate not only to build it but also to support it. The importance of some things achieved such as the ESI and the feminist judicial reform. There is like a possible horizon to unravel. And that is why in the selection of profiles we select people who are in organizations and institutional spaces and contribute to countercultures”.
“Reparation is an enormously long process and it is not a judicial response. In all cases, the key is to collectivize something because the complaint is individual and the victim is individual as well as the reparation, but the discipline is collective. There is something in the commitment to modify the conditions of impunity in a system, to repair those logics”, Barán Attias responds and believes that “to think in terms of reparation, it is not necessary to assume that Justice solves everything, but neither is it something that must be neglected.”
Leila Torres, Communicator and teacher at UNLaR had the task of conducting the interviews. “The project meant being able to work on research with feminist epistemology and comes to raise not only new issues but also to raise, within the macho and patriarchal academy, a production, a making of knowledge, the justification of that knowledge from the point of view Women’s. We have focused on conflicts that go through women, which is violence, and we have been political agents of our own knowledge and with a vision that has always been overlooked.”
Also part of this project are Noelia Zalazar, lawyer and doctoral student in Philosophy, professor at UNLAR, Marianela Peña Pollastri, Lic. in Letters, graduated from UNLAR, Nadia Arce, student in Political Science at UNLAR and Aldana Cuello, philosopher.