«You can't ignore the fact that 30 years ago they killed you for what you believed»

1983. With the arrival of Raúl Alfonsin to office, after 8 years of military dictatorship, violent repression of freedom, murder and disappearance of over 30.000 people, the darkest period in Argentine history was over.

It was the perfect opportunity to communicate forbidden things. It was the perfect time to counter-attack power, to rebel against the system. Art and music found a way in. Thousands of Argentineans wanted to scream together: "we are free!”

In the miniseries Contempt for Authority (1983-1988), Tomás Majaki and Patricia Pietrafesa narrate the five years following the return of democracy from the perspective of punk fanzines. It was not only a huge cultural movement –it was an anarchist revolution.

The first part –screened at the OST section of the 20° Festival- showed the antecedent of punk culture in Argentina, the social context and the first members of the fanzines. From the fall of the dictatorship to the first months of democracy. Widespread fear, police repression, the first bands. This second part continues the story of this particular culture that bloomed during the 80s.

Patricia Petrafiesa, co-director of the documentary, was one of the country’s most important fanzine editors, witness and protagonist of the punk stories that make up the miniseries: "I was part of that scene: I lived and I believed in every word I wrote in every fanzine, in every pamphlet I handed out. I feel my contribution is to narrate the punk culture I experienced”.

For Tomás Majaki, the documentary, among other things, "talks about personal quests, individuality in order to draw paths to find yourself, or at least try to. In that respect, 80s punk rock was pretty much that”.

The directors state that being punk in that moment was a social and personal commitment: a way of living. It was a great tool to show dissidence, rebellion and radical thoughts. "I personally believe a punk band is not meant to last. The urgency of the message, coherence and other elements make it difficult for a band to last longer than a couple of years”, states Pietrafiesa.

"The Contempt for Authority trilogy (1983-1988) will make it clear that the point is not to "accomplish greatness in order to last throughout time. There are many important, amazing and brief things. Its importance often depends on that fugacity because it leaves them frozen and unalterable”, adds Majaki.  

The footage is divided into two: on the one hand, testimonies from people who lived punk on the streets and concerts, and not so much the bands’ members; on the other, animations about Patricia Pietrafiesa’s fanzines.

"I believe those photocopied images, designed by themselves, were part of the aesthetical and conceptual world they were creating and materializing”, declares Majaki and states: "regarding the animations, I made them myself and I think it was a resource to go on with this fanzine idea. Though they are digitally made, the process was very handcrafted. Nearly all the characters are me taking pictures of myself in the mirror of my bathroom –I didn’t have anyone to take them- in different positions; then I edited them so that no one could tell”.

Aesthetics and anarchy get together to understand the present of music culture. Contempt for Authority (1983-1988) is a fascinating anthropological work, crucial to knowing the B side of our past.

 

SUN 1, 11.00 pm, PAS 1
MON 2, 5.40 pm, PAS 1
TUE 3, 3.00 pm, PAS 1

 

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