Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Video: film “Revolución” highlights erased history of black Argentine soldiers


In the collective memory of Argentina the history of Argentine black people is erased completely. "Black people do not exist in Argentina," said former Argentine President Carlos Menem. But huge numbers of black soldiers fought in every independence war of the country. In the Argentine film “Revolución - El cruce de Los Andes” (2010), which follows the life of Argentine hero General José de San Martín, their contribution is highlighted. The film premiered during the bicentennial of Argentina.

The video shows some of the bloody scenes of The Battle of Chacabucoin in 1817


Revolución: El cruce de los Andes (Revolution: The Crossing of the Andes) is a Argentine historical epic film about the famous battle of The Army of the Andes (Ejército de los Andes) of Argentine general José de San Martín. In his campaign to free Chile from the Spanish Empire he crossed the Andes Mountains in 1817 from Argentine to Chile to attack the Spanish. He won the battle with an army consisted of Argentinians and Chileans. Interesting detail is that blacks/Africans made up 2/3 of the Army and that most of them were slaves and freedmen. Slavery was abolished in 1853.

Black soldiers in Paraguayan War
A macabre detail was that in all of the independence wars most of the Argentine soldiers were black, even after slavery was abolished. As a result of the high casualty rate (and other factors) the big black population in Argentina rapidly declined and made them virtually invisible. Since whitening was also a state policy of Argentine their historical contribution was subsequently also erased and ignored. The black presence was even officially denied up to 1996 by former Argentine President Menem when he, during a diplomatic trip to the United States, stated "Black people do not exist in Argentina, Brazil has that problem."

Sergant Blanco, played by Alberto Morle, plays chess with General Jose de San Martin

In 2011 200 climbers from 30 countries from Africa, Europe, Asia and America crossed the Andes to commemorate the black soldiers who participated in the liberation campaign of General Jose de San Martin. Next climb will be 2013

Official website of film Revolución: El cruce de los Andes: http://revolucionlapelicula.com/

Also check the link of the black Argentine soldier Antonio Ruiz (Falucho)
Afro-Argentines - Still the people in the land of the vanishing Blacks?

7 comments:

  1. I'm not shocked the former president of Argentina would say that: The country is racist as he**.

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    Replies
    1. Where do you live Chi guy? Have you ever been in Argentina? Do you know this country? and its people? from Jujuy to Ushuaia?? From Mendoza, or La Rioja to Entre Rios or Missiones?
      Not just Buenos Aires.
      Becare full!Chi Guy, WE ARE NOT Menem, who was a tragedy for us.
      Try to not repeat things without knowledges.
      And excuse my English... I am argentina and speak Castellano.
      I am not racist.
      Laura

      Delete
  2. Thanks for spreading the word, as we seldom hear of the Latin American African diaspora and their issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SCT100PM Collective, thanks for the compliment!

      Delete
  3. Love the post. I have read alot about black people in Argentina and loved the fact that it was black slaves that created Tango which is something else which is rarely talked about

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  4. Blacks are the original people of Argentina. Blacks have been in the Americas before the slave trade

    ReplyDelete

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