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This article includes the most significant sections of the report prepared by Miguel Murmis, Silvia Sigal, and Carlos Waisman, the sociologists and members of the CICSO (Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales [Social Sciences Research Center]) who provided the artists with the results of their research into the economic and social crisis that devastated the Province of Tucumán after the sugar refineries were closed. The report became public and was widely circulated after it was copied and distributed to the press, and distributed among those who attended the exhibition. The report published a number of counter-arguments and whose discussion challenged the Operativo Tucumán [Tucumán Operation], the economic rescue program that was launched by the government in 1966. The sociologists argued that Tucumán was not an exceptional case, but rather the result of the government’s national economic policy; and as such was a harbinger that substantiated evidence galore for the rest of the country.


Tucumán Arde [Tucumán Is Burning], the best-known group event ever produced by the avant-garde of both Buenos Aires and Rosario, took place in 1968, when radical political and artistic unrest came to a head in various parts of the world. The proposal of the event involved a complex combination of research, counter-information, and a massive public awareness campaign.

The immediate repercussions of the event were huge, as can be confirmed in a number of newspaper articles, many of which appeared in labor union and political publications. Among them was a lengthy essay published in América Latina, the bimonthly magazine directed by Edgardo Greco, which echoed the sentiments aired in an article that appeared in the weekly CGT denouncing the pressure tactics used by the dictatorship of Lieutenant General Juan Carlos Onganía (1966–70) against the Confederación General del Trabajo/ de los Argentinos which led to the closing of the Tucumán Arde exhibition in Buenos Aires. The essay also quotes extensively from the report prepared by the CICSO (Centro de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales) sociologists who were involved in the research project prior to the artists’ second trip to Tucumán.

Ana Longoni.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
CeDInCI, Buenos Aires, Argentina.