Final Reflection

I’ve tried in my own way to fight for a history–that of Argentina’s Dirty War–that is constantly denied and has never been dealt with fully. I feel pain still. I do not subscribe to the idea that we must, or that it is even possible to close that chapter of human suffering. I am still young enough, I still have my memories, I hold within me the collective memory of a people who were deeply and irrevocably wronged. Who may never be able to be righted, but who can at least try to work through the emotional baggage, the imprint of horror and loss, to ideally come to terms with it, although it is and will forever be inexplicable, in my opinion at least.


It has been my husband’s and my life work to do this. In one sense, we have been through hell, but that is not how we try to see it. We are not unhappy people. We are lucky, in many, many ways, but specifically because our personalities and professions–I an artist, he a Jungian psychologist–force us to delve into our individual psyches, as well as the shared psyche of the Argentine people. We do not want to forget. I cannot say either that we have forgiven, either the members of the junta, the generals, torturers, kidnappers, executioners, nor Argentine society for allowing the regime to stay in power, Peron for creating the conditions for a coup, international powers for not stepping in, ourselves for not doing enough.


In my mother’s final years, we developed a relationship again. She relayed to me that losing Fabricio was the hardest thing that had ever happened, especially because, in Tucuman and with my father, and those they were associated with, she could not share her fear or express doubt in the regime. She never forgave herself. My brothers, on the other hand, I still will not speak to. I do not hate them, but I have not been able to forgive them for the hate they perpetrated. Of course, they have not been prosecuted.

I visited the Parque de la Memoria the other day. The memorial is meant to cut into the ground like an open wound. It is the most poignant memorial I’ve seen. Sites like this, and art like I try to make, are integral to the effort to create a language, one that does not consist merely of words, and is forged and molded by those who are willing to tell the truth, to face our past without distortion, with courage.

1 thought on “Final Reflection

  1. ssvolk says:

    Thanks, Malena, for sharing some of your thoughts with me.

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