The Avatar Project, for me, was probably the most enlightening assignment I’ve completed of all of my history classes at Oberlin. I found myself tentative at the beginning, unable to grasp what kind of person I wanted to develop my character into, but as events in history deepened, I became more emotionally involved in Sophia’s life and the things happening around her. This project enabled me to be immersed in a world that I originally had very little knowledge of and to involve myself in a specific facet of that world.
Though it was harder for me to develop Sophia’s private life because I was so involved in the world outside of her own. I discovered that reading newspaper articles from the time of the post date was the most effective way in learning the affect it would have on Sophia’s life as well as the world around her. It was also difficult to not become more emotionally involved when her brother was disappeared. I couldn’t help but attempt to put myself into her shoes to try and fathom what kind of emotional spectrum her and her family were put through. I know it’s impossible to feel that kind of pain, unless it actually happened to me, and to put that pain into words, I felt like I wasn’t capturing it, but did my best all the same. I had to take a step back, to imagine how many people were affected by the human rights crimes was a depressing fact in itself, and I couldn’t get too deep. It became so relevant to things I came across that even watching the new Hunger Games movie in theaters, I paralleled that far-fetched oppressive society to Chile’s, and the movie became all too real and the uprisings that took place in the film, I directly related to those during the dirty wars.
This was an extremely rewarding project. Encompassing the details, the emotion, the overarching themes of Chilean history during this time, and bringing it all together in the life of one person. In history classes, it’s extremely difficult to become this involved with the material, but through this project, it became a challenge I very much enjoyed.