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HGMV Presentation by HEIDER TUN: "Writing Human Rights from the Bottom Up: the Case of the Salvadoran Co-Madres (1977-1992)"

HGMV Presentation by HEIDER TUN: "Writing Human Rights from the Bottom Up: the Case of the Salvadoran Co-Madres (1977-1992)"

Thursday, March 24, 4:00PM
710 Social Sciences
HEIDER TUN, Department of History, University of Minnesota
Writing Human Rights from the Bottom Up: the Case of the Salvadoran Co-Madres (1977-1992)


Street mural in San Salvador, El Salvador, Artist: Malu
This presentation is part of a larger research project that focuses on the historical development of the human rights movement in Latin America and more specifically, in El Salvador. It will be proposed that three different groups in El Salvador—the state, the opposition and civil society—engaged human rights discourse during the Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992) to develop and justify distinct agendas, and that these interactions shaped the development of the war. The ways the Salvadoran government and the guerrilla movement (FMLN) used the human rights rhetoric to hide, transform, maintain, and justify violence, while civilian organizations invoked this language to protect life and denounce impunity will be contrasted. The inclusion of the marginalized voices of organized Salvadoran civilian women will illustrate the limits and consequences of universal discourses such as human rights.

Heider Tun is a PhD student in the history department of the University of Minnesota with support from the ICGC Mellon Foundation and DOVE fellowship programs. His research and recent publications focus on the historical development of Human Rights in Latin America. Since 2011 he has been working for a Human Rights Organization in El Salvador called Co-Madres where he actively works to preserve civil war archives, document women’s testimonies and promote human rights. In addition, Heider has done fieldwork in Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru and is interested in topics such as: memory, human rights, global change, colonial history, and popular culture. His interdisciplinary work seeks to bring the history of disadvantaged minority groups to academic discussions.