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.