ESMA Memory Site
Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Maria Jose Kahn Silva
    Director of International Cooperation
    AHDA Fellow, 2016

    The ESMA Memory Site Museum opened in May 2015 in the former Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) building, which was the largest of the 600 Clandestine Detention and Assassination Centers during Argentina´s military regime. The Museum is physical testimony to human rights violations and serves as condemnation, proof and evidence of the acts of terrorism committed. The Museum’s mission is to bear witness and to investigate and create awareness of the events that occurred here. It seeks to contribute to learning, experiencing and understanding through traditional and contemporary representations and by stimulating debate and prompting an intra and inter-generational dialogue.

    Volunteer Responsibilities

    By spending eight weeks at ESMA Museum and Memory Site, the students will be able to learn about the Museum’s past history and the process that the organization went through by transforming this space of terror into a place of transmission, education and repair. In the short term, the incorporation of interns in the different areas of the Museum will allow to strengthen ties with the students, sharing experiences with them. Tasks will include:

    • As a Museum related to personal lost and collective trauma, the volunteer will be part of a team that works in the preservation of the heritage while investigating and creating awareness.
    • ESMA Memory Site Museum is a team that works in the creation of welcoming and educational experiences for the visitors. Volunteer will work behind the scenes and provide visitor services in the areas of content and the institution. He/She will welcome the visitors at the Museum. As a Museum is related to a sensitive issue, the visitors must feel welcomed. The volunteers will help groups circulating throughout the Museum answering questions and directing visitors through the exhibitions.
    • The student will collaborate in the development of any of the following areas: Temporary exhibitions (audiovisual production, museographic devices, research); Audiences (Audience studies, development of qualitative measurement tools); International cooperation (Survey/report of possible institutional or national or international financing partners); Institutional Communication (Development of communication strategies and tools for Social Media).
    • Volunteer will assist in carrying out surveys; help with research and analysis of strengths and weaknesses; collaborate in the design of contents; write documents and prepare reports; update contacts and database; among others.
    • Volunteer will assist the team in organizing digital archives, research, translations and transcriptions.
    • Volunteer will help with special activities that are develop for the audiences each month and will assist with audience research.


    Other Requirements

    • Student volunteer has to show a strong interest in any of the following areas: Museums, Human Rights, International Relations, Production and Cultural Management and Humanities.
    • Knowledge of Spanish and working in teams is preferred.
    • Preferably, the student has experience working with museums who can provide a critical evaluation about our work.
    • Experience working in teams and willingness to contribute to the institution.



    While the organization is not able to provide housing, it will work with the student to identify a place to stay.