Final reflection

This avatar project was exceedingly difficult for me. To create a character completely different than myself and then historicize their life and experiences was a task much more complicated than I expected. I at first tried to incorporate too many elements of Argentina’s history into my avatar’s story to give myself options for later posts – that Raíner was from an Italian immigrant family, that his parents were university professors, but also that they were Catholic, and then that he had a sister who was disappeared. It took me some time to realize that my character only represents one story in a larger Argentine history, and that I don’t have to try to encapsulate everything that we learned in this class in this one person’s life.


I also tried to deviate away from what I think would have been my own response to Raíner’s particular situation. Getting out of my head and into his was also pretty hard, and in the end I didn’t quite succeed. I think part of it is that I couldn’t shake myself of the ridiculousness of trying to understand the incredibly painful story of Argentina’s Dirty Wars through a completely fictional character. But at the same time Raíner’s story, whether or not it was real or imagined, helped me to understand and engage with Argentina;s history on a much more personal level that I definitely would not have were it not for this avatar project.

1 thought on “Final reflection

  1. ssvolk says:

    Thank you for your reflections, Rainer (for I’ll continue to call you Rainer!). What many of the students found in this assignment is what the protagonist in “Ways of Going Home” argued: that we can only write our own stories. There is a lot of truth there, but what they (and you) also found is that if you never abandon yourself, you also will experience things differently when put in different circumstances. The only regret I have about your avatar is that you posted the bulk of them on the last day. The challenge of living with an avatar week by week is that you don’t know the history and so, when writing one week, aren’t certain as to what will happen historically later on. Leaving them for the end takes this element away and also deprives the other students from the opportunity of learning from and with your avatar.

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