Los lápices eran de colores
By Miho Saito
The students of Nacional Nicolás Avellaneda created a documentary based on the theme of their workshop: Memory. Their story is dedicated to the alumni of their high school who have disappeared during the military dictatorship and for the next coming generation of youth who are fighting for their rights.
The documentary begins with the making of flagstones that were placed on the sidewalk in front of the high school to commemorate the disappeared students. The scene, then transitions to testimonies given by those who were affected by the disappearances of their loved ones- a man who was politically active during the height of the military regime, a mother and a sister of a desaparecido. From the testimonies of the past, the film takes the viewers to the here and now, linking the struggles of Argentina’s rich history to the struggles of the youth in the political scene today.
The sister of a desaparecido describes how she understands and doesn’t blame today’s youth for not being as politically involved because of the fear that still exists: “No porque a los jóvenes no les interesa sino porque la historia vivida nos ha arrasado e hizo que todos perdamos interes o que tengamos mucho miedo de volver a comprometermos.” However, she believes that if youth want change, they need to do something about it: “Los aliento a que sigan en ese camino, en el camino de la lucha, hacerse valer, yo creo que esa es la única forma.”
This documentary symbolizes the importance of transmitting memory. Just as memories of our own unique past are always present with us, the memory of Argentina’s heavy history is still an influential force in the country today. We learn from our past: The history of Argentina tells youth to continue fighting for their rights and to carry on what their brothers and sisters of the generation before had started. In the last scenes of the film, a student says in her speech: “misión de callar el silencio.” It is the youth’s mission to silence the silence that surrounded the crimes against those that were disappeared.
As young people today, our responsibility is to continue coloring our history with bright colors so the dark shades of the past remain in the past…
eran somos de colores y seguiremos escribiendo