Silvia Ana Filler (1953 - 1971)

the activist symbol of the student struggle in Argentina of the 70s

Silvia Ana Filler was born in Punta Alta, Argentina, in 1953. After completing her high school studies in 1971, Silvia decided to enroll in the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Mar del Plata.

At that time the University was under political pressure and, like many students at that time, Silvia Ana was disappointed by the political interference at the educational level of some university members. For this reason she often suffered the harassment of a professor already known in the academic environment for this behavior. In December 1971, students of the Faculty, Rafael San Martín and Hugo Torrado, threw a smoke bomb into the professor’s classroom in response to his behavior that many thought was wrong. This gesture was strongly condemned by the university authorities, who decided to expel the young students.

The response to this decision was even tougher and a student collective of the university called Centro de Estudiantes de Arquitectura Marplatense (CEAM), decided to organize a protest assembly in the auditorium of the institute, shortly after the event, on 6 December 1971. The meeting was attended by about 300 young people, including Silvia Filler herself. The student was often defined by the local press as an "independent activist" and "limited militant", recently affiliated with the movement and who was firmly convinced of the need to maintain the university a symbol and a place of democracy, freedom and political autonomy, condition that instead was dissolving in the Argentine university.

Shortly after the start of the discussions, an armed contingent belonging to the CNU - National University Concentration Centre, an extreme right-wing terrorist movement- broke into the building. Soon the situation escalated and Ana Silvia Filler was hit in the head by a stray bullet fired by a CNU militant. Along with her, four other were injured. In the meantime the policemen who were stationed outside the building did not intervene, thus letting the attack escalate.

In a short time, Silvia Filler became the symbol of Argentine university activism, intent on strongly opposing the continuous political interference in the academic life of the country.

Silvia’s ideals - described by her father as "a girl with high democratic values, belonging to a generation full of faith and hope, who challenged the adult generations for having failed in the resolution of the many political dilemmas in the country" - are still today a source of inspiration for the young generations of Argentina and for all the inhabitants of Mar del Plata, where she is honored in the Garden of the Righteous inaugurated by Gariwo in 2023.

Gardens that honour Silvia Ana Filler

Silvia Ana Filler is honoured in the Garden of Mar del Plata.

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