Looking back over 40 years

The course of my life has been defined in many ways by the history that I have lived through. I have experienced some of Argentina’s most dramatic, most hopeful, and most fearful moments. I remember dates often by their proximity to political events. It is difficult for me to fathom the person I would be if I was born 15 year earlier, or 15 years later. And this is true for me, someone who was not extremely political before or during the coup, who lost no close friends or family. Something about this strikes me as unfair, there is a certain loss of self-determination associated with being the product of history in such an extreme way. Human’s are always largely defined by their circumstance, and much of this circumstance often is historical, but for my lifespan it seems so extreme, so unescapable. I cannot possibly regret the person that I am today, and implicitly, the history that crafted that person. But I do not wish the same formative experiences on to my grandson.


I lead a life that is shaped by history, my son leads a life that is influenced by this history, and my grandson, when he is born, will probably lead a life that is at the most informed by history. But perhaps this is unrealistic, perhaps it is even undesirable. Many people like to force Argentina into a progressive narrative. We created stability, we overthrew tyranny, now we deepen Democracy. It’s a linear progress that implies an end to struggle. Perhaps my grandsons life will not be defined by history, but he will still struggle. It seems that things have aligned to guarantee him a better life than his father’s or my life, but it has not taken away the opportunity to work towards something better. This is something that I never capitalized on, even in Argentina’s hours of greatest need. This is part of why I feel like a victim of history, in spite of my privilege and security in society, I never dedicated myself to changing the course of history, I was denied agency as much by myself as I was by the junta. So, while I am grateful that my grandson will have the ability to look away from injustice, will have the ability to live his life without historical definition, I hope he will choose not to take advantage of this.

1 thought on “Looking back over 40 years

  1. ssvolk says:

    Thanks for sharing your life with me, Fabia.

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