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State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America: Transmissions Across The ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America:


Emerging from Oblivion

To reach the place where memories are, to see what they are like, and to put them into words. So as to create oblivion. Oblivion is not the lack of memory, it is the memories that went to their place, to the country of oblivion, now organized into words. The opposite of words is not silence: it’s the void of words. Silence, what is not said, is also a form of remembering. I remember, but I do not tell myself. If I do not tell myself, it will be difficult to forget. The memories are in the body. The body chooses the words that will say what is remembered. What is not remembered will never be forgotten. Because if it was not turned into words, something said or thought or written, it cannot be forgotten. Then one day, the un-forgotten memory, not made into words, jumps from the body and becomes present and it hurts once again like the first day. We remember so that it stops hurting.… To remember is to ask the body how is it that it hurt so much. It is not a complaint. If one wants to remember it’s because one is standing up. One still has the strength and courage to look at the past. Even though words are not enough to remember it all, the words are the only thing we have. The words are a net to rescue only a part of what was, never the whole thing.1