#007 – Torture Centers in Greece and Argentina during the Military Dictatorships

with Janis Nalbadidacis



Torture was a central element in both the Greek and the Argentine dictatorships. In this context, specific institutions which epitomized the regimes’ policy of violence were established. In Athens, this function was fulfilled by the headquarters of the Police (in Bouboulina and later in Mesogeiou Street), whereas in Buenos Aires torture took place at the Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) in Avenida del Libertador. Basing his analysis on interviews, orders and testimonies of the daily processes within these two enclosed institutions, Janis enquires into the interactional processes and practices of violence. The methodological background of Janis’ work is the figuration analysis conceptualized by Norbert Elias, combined with the approach of thick description of the so called Neue Gewaltsoziologie.


nalbadidacis, podcast, greece, argentina, torture

Janis Nalbadidacis is a Ph.D. candidate at the Humboldt University BerlinHis research areas cover the Latin American and the European dictatorships in the second half of the 20th century as well as World War II. In particular, he is interested in dynamics of violence and the construction of gender. He likes travelling and loves playing his acoustic guitar. You can contact him at Nalbadidacis@gmx.de

To cite this episode: Nalbadidacis, Janis; Guidi, Andreas (2015): Torture Centers in Greece and Argentina during the Military Dictatorships, The Southeast Passage #007, 07.12.2015, http://thesoutheastpassage.com/nalbadidacis-torture-centers-greece-argentina/


Further reading:




Entrance of the ESMA  complex, Buenos Aires

Actis, Munú/ Aldini, Cristina/ Gardella, Liliana/ Lewin, Miriam/ Tokar, Elisa: Ese infierno. Conversaciones de cinco mujeres sobrevivientes de la ESMA, Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 2001.

Calveiro, Pilar: Poder y desaparición. los campos de concentración en Argentina, Buenos Aires: Ediciones Colihue, 2008.

Robben, Antonius C. G. M.: Political violence and trauma in Argentina, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

Verbitsky, Horacio: El Silencio de Paulo VI a Bergoglio. Las Relaciones secretas de la Iglesia con la ESMA, Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 2005.

Web Resource:  http://www.espaciomemoria.ar/




Building of the Former Detention and Torture Center in Mesogeiou Street, Athens 

Korovesis, Periklis: Oi Anthropofilakes [The method: a personal account of the tortures in Greece], 5th edition, Athens: Electra, 2007.

Haritos-Fatouros, Mika: The psychological Origins of institutionalized Torture (Routledge research international series in social psychology 4), London, New York: Routledge, 2003.

Panourgia, Neni: Dangerous Citizens: The Greek Left and the Terror of the State. New York: Fordham University Press, 2009.

Papaeti, Anna: Music, Torture, Testimony: Reopening the Case of the Greek Junta (1967-1974), in: The World of Music (New Series) 2 (2013), H. 1, S. 67–89.

Stefatos, Katherine: Engendering the Nation: Women, State Oppression and Political Violence in Post-War Greece, (1946-1974). Dissertation at Goldsmiths College, University of London, London 2011



Baberowski, Jörg: Gewalt verstehen, in: Zeithistorische Forschungen 5, 1 (2008), 5–17.

Elias, Norbert: Was ist Soziologie?, 4th edition, München: Juventa Verlag, 1981.

Elias, Norbert: Über die Begriffe der Figuration und der sozialen Prozesse. Einführende Bemerkungen zu einem Colloquium über den historischen Charakter der Gesellschaft und der soziologischen Theorie am 12. Mai 1987 in der Technischen Universität Berlin, Berlin: 1988.

Trotha, Trutz von: Zur Soziologie der Gewalt, in: Trotha, Trutz von (ed.): Soziologie der Gewalt (Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie. Sonderhefte 37), Opladen 1997, 9–56.


The Southeast Passage
The Southeast Passage
#007 - Torture Centers in Greece and Argentina during the Military Dictatorships