Journals of Hate

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 09:45
Oral Presentation
Syd KROCHMALNY, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
‘Journals of Hate’ is based on the reader’s comments in electronic versions of major newspapers in Argentina where they are enabled to express their views without boundaries. Some of these phrases are written on the walls of the exhibition space.

The chosen fragments specifically track those discursive cores where the dehumanization of whole sectors of society occurs. The construction of the other as an object of extreme hatred seeks to define certain people as a social surplus. ‘Shit’, ‘trash’ and ‘waste’ are some of the metaphors that make the other as excrement that social body must expel. This embodied view of society also appears when medical terms such as ‘cancer’, ‘infection’ or ‘gangrene’ that must be removed are used.

However, all haters needs an object as long he defines its identity in relationship with the hated. Thus we see that the commentators perceive themselves as Argentinian by regarding the "bolita", the "paragua", the "perucho", the "mexican" derogatory categories that describe immigrants from nearby countries. They perceive themselves as belonging to the white race by denigrating colored people; they feel more masculine when they humiliate women; they entitle themselves as educated by stigmatizing the uninstructed. They feel themselves as middle classes in relation with the degraded poor. No matter how poor you are it is always possible to imagine someone poorer.

These observations do not say anything new. You may even think that the comments that we selected in the newspapers are just anonymous rants. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that many main massacres in history were preceded by dehumanizing discourses, public narratives which went unheeded at the time.