“Pensar es un hecho revolucionario.”
“To think is a revolutionary act.”
In June 2011 I traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina with a group of students and teachers from my high school in Philadelphia as part of an exchange program. The previous winter I hosted an Argentinian student who in turn hosted me. I had anticipated learning about a new culture and perhaps add a few words to my shamefully small spanish vocabulary, but I was not prepared for the history lesson that I received.
We went on a small excursion almost every day of our trip. We roamed neighborhoods, visited the home of Borges, went to the MALBA museum of modern art, we even crossed the river to Uruguay.
But there was nothing so moving as visiting the headquarters of the Association of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Not only were we given the entire history of the organization but it was delivered by none other than a mother herself. Hearing her story, how she lost her son, her daughter-in-law and their unborn child, but how the child was born and given away to a military family. And how only in the last three years, through a DNA blood matching program, was the daughter found by her grandmother. There wasn’t a dry eye in the conference room, not even the grandmother’s who only revealed that the story was her own at the end of her presentation.
I was stunned. How did ignore such a large part of history? Why wasn’t I taught this in school, or at least by my parents who were not only alive at the time but who also consider themselves well-read historians.
OK, I was caught up. Now what? What was I supposed to do with this information that for some reason seemed forbidden.
I needed to spread the word. I told my friends, I wrote three articles in my school’s newspaper, and now that I am given the opportunity to create a website, it seems an obvious choice. This certainly is not the only piece of history that I had missed, so in an attempt to spread the word, here is some history of Argentina and a few current events that I feel have not been given sufficient media attention.