Avatar Reflection

I think the Avatar project was definitely the most rewarding part of the class. What is sometimes difficult for me in politics courses is thinking about individual impact: how do changes in political systems, large cultural events, etc, actually affect the individuals? I took a history class in an attempt to ground my political science studies, and I think the avatar project really helped me do this. Dealing with Inès was difficult at times. Deciding where I wanted to take her, where I didn’t want to take her, these were all choices that took up a lot of time. I ultimately decided to avoid a HUGE traumatic event because I found it too easy to go there. In some ways I wanted Inès to represent the so-called unaffected individual. I don’t think I succeeded completely, as I definitely resorted to “trauma” when I didn’t know what else to do with her. This was another bizarre feeling—using trauma as a cop-out? That definitely felt invalidating and kind of bad, but also reflected the way in which this class was taught: we focused a ton on traumatic events and those affected by them – not on those who weren’t affected by them. While I may have done this, I think the way in which Inès continued forth post-trauma (after her two professors and classmate are disappeared), was very interesting. I kind of kept her boring, because who REALLY had grand opportunities to run away to the U.S? Not very many people. Instead of having her do crazy, big things with her life, I kept her struggles very internal. I’ve read some other reflections, and it seems that other people felt this way too, but I definitely used her as a way to grapple with my own self.
….Perhaps that is the true reason why I loved the Avatar project so much, haha. As a busy student, I often miss times to reflect on conversations I’ve had with friends, or interesting things I’ve talked about in my classes. I used Inès as a way to express parts of my own life, which was very cathartic in way. For example, in my second to last blog post, I told a story about a student in Inès’ history class who did an interview project about Peronism. That story was actually from one of my close friends who traveled to Argentina, and she told it to me at the beginning of the semester when I was frantically trying to understand Peronism. I was then able to incorporate that small, cute story into Inès’ life, whereas without her, that gem would have been lost. In either case, I think that out of anything we’ve read and/or talked about, Inès journey will be among those involved in the Dirty Wars who I remember most.

One thought on “Avatar Reflection

  1. ssvolk says:

    Thanks for your reflection, Inés (as I will continue to call you!). One of the things I’ve found reading through the posts and the final reflections is how many students came up with similar observations, one which was summed up by the protagonist of Zambra’s “Ways of Going Come,” that we can only write our own stories. In the case of the avatars, what many realized is not that it’s always “about them,” but that they incorporate their own personality, lives, experiences, fears, into the lives of their avatars, individuals who lived during different times. I would expect no less. I’ll go back and re-read the entire trajectory of Inés’ journey when I get some time, but I thank you for taking it (and her) so seriously.

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