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Childhood Exile: Memories and Returns

Childhood Exile: Memories and Returns

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Title: Childhood Exile: Memories and Returns
Author: Arfuch, Leonor
Abstract: In the context of contemporary forced migrations, my paper tackles the problem of political exile. I will take as my main area of concern a unique experience—that of children whose parents were obliged to escape the repression of the Chilean (1973-1989) and Argentinian (1976- 1983) dictatorships and for whom living “outside the lines” was often a matter of life and death. I am referring to children born in exile and who were affected by family trauma, or exiled-children who moved with their parents toward an uncertain destiny, carrying with them only a few objects as vestiges of home. Some of these children were later sent to Cuba to live in the care of “social parents,” caretakers who took responsibility for the children when the children’s militant parents decided to return to their countries of origin to fight against the dictatorships. My analysis will focus on recent works by four women who have lived through these experiences and whose narratives lie “outside the lines” of canonical genres: Verónica Gerber-Bicceci and Laura Alcoba (Argentina), who have written autobiographical and self-fictional novels; Macarena Aguiló (Chile) and Virginia Croatto (Argentina), who have produced autobiographical and testimonial films. Despite differences in style, we find in their cultural production some undeniable marks of gender –looks, images, assessments- that reveal unique subjectivities. In all of these narratives, personal experience interfaces with collective memory and, for that reason, has an important ethical and political impact.
Subject: migration
political exile
Chilean dictatorship
Argentinian dictatorship
Verónica Gerber-Bicceci
Laura Alcoba
Macarena Aguiló
Virginia Croatto
Type: Abstract
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/33902
Date: 2017-05-15

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