Antes y Despues 2013
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This work was inspired by the film Nostalgia de la Luz (Nostalgia for the Light) by Patricio Guzmán. The film is set mainly in the Atacama desert, which, because of its dry atmosphere is home to Chile's observatories. Astronomers scan the cosmos for light from distant galaxies, light that may be millions of years old, light from the past which illuminates our understanding of the present.
Guzmán uses this metaphorically to represent the plight of women, who search in the desert for the remains of their loved ones – the disappeared, victims of the Pinochet regime. Simply put it seems that the dilemma for Chileans is between the agony of remembering the past and the responsibility to never forget it. Nostalgia de la Luz seems to pose the question of how can we live in the present without remembering the past.
After watching Nostalgia de la Luz I found it difficult to watch people on the streets of Santiago and not wonder about them. To wonder about their lives during the coup and its aftermath, when thousands of Chileans were tortured, murdered or disappeared. To wonder about what they now remember and what they try to forget.
Santiago, Chile, 2013