Undermining the Logic of War: Reflections on Paintings and Film of the Paraguayan War

Research Seminar

  • Date: Mar 9, 2018
  • Time: 12:30 - 14:00
  • Speaker: Javier Uriarte
  • Location: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
Undermining the Logic of War: Reflections on Paintings and Film of the Paraguayan War
The War of the Triple Alliance (also known as The Paraguayan War, 1864-1870), was undoubtedly one of the most tragic events in the history of Latin America. In it, the Brazilian Empire joined its forces with Argentina and Uruguay against Paraguay.

The outcome was the utter destruction of the latter, while the victors occupied the country and appropriated significant portions of its land. Paraguay lost 40% of its territory and 60% of its total population. In the first part of this paper, I will analyze the work of Cándido López, an Argentine soldier who painted the war using a very original aesthetics, painting battles from very general point of view. In his paintings all soldiers are small and with no particular characteristics (there are no clear differences between the allied forces and the Paraguayans, for example), and the landscape plays a central role. I will argue that his perspective on the war is quite different from that of more traditionally romantic painters from Argentina and Brazil who celebrated the victory of these countries. On the contrary, López's paintings undermine the fanatic and victorious discourse of war, by constructing war as something utterly different from glorious nationalism.

Scientific Organization: Fernando Loffredo

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