go through the horror with the word
How to explain to young people the issue of forced disappearances? How can we go beyond the horror of knowing that they are the main victims? What can be done to help them shake off fear and commit to solidarity?
These concerns are behind the book protest song (UNAM), by Adolfo Córdova and Daniela Rea, which, illustrated by Rosario Lucas, brings together “a lot of fragments of songs, poems, chronicles, testimonies, interviews, that have managed to go through the horror with language, with words and possibility of another world.”
In interview with Excelsiorthe Mexican narrator confesses that with this hybrid book they are looking for “other ways of naming this reality, that are more luminous, that take us towards the place of vital resistance, on the side of life.”
He comments that they were also inspired by “many of the searching mothers who have a very difficult life, but who have not given up the joy, the possibility of meeting, of remembering the person they are looking for.”
The novelist and short story writer details that “almost 50% of the disappeared in Mexico, according to the National Search Commission, are young people under 25 years of age. It is important to talk to them, to make them feel close to us.”
He states that to establish a different communication they created a fictional character inspired by many young people, Lupe, who is non-binary.
He decides to leave home; But she realizes that there are many young people who do not decide to leave, but are taken away; That is, he becomes aware of the phenomenon of disappearances.
Then, he meets Wildcat, a boy who survives a disappearance and teaches him a lot about searching. Thus, in the fourth and final chapter, Lupe decides to become a seeker.”
The master in Books and Children's and Young People's Literature from the Autonomous University of Barcelona adds that this protest song “It is to begin to put ourselves in the place of a young person who lives in a context that he does not like, to redirect responsibility to adults, because there is a tendency to criminalize or re-victimize young people who survive or return. We forget that we adults give them a world where it is difficult to be.”
Trying a healing process, he says, Lupe invents an action: he makes a list of the dreams of the missing people and decides that he will begin to fulfill some of them and invite others to do the same.
There is another action that Gato Montés does: putting the route back to people's homes in the Google Maps search engine.
missing. Then, he tells Lupe that he, as a symbolic gesture, several times a day enters the address of the last place where a person was seen and the address of her house, to visualize that return journey. And, although he knows that he is not going to achieve anything, he feels that he is getting a little closer to materializing the return of that person,” he says.
The author of The white dragon and other forgotten characterswinner of the 2015 Juan de la Cabada Children's Story Fine Arts Award, says that this literary proposal seeks to convince young people that they really have the ability to transform that environment and honor the people they seek.
We invite you to, in some way, reconjugate a verb: understand being and being as a we are. Let them know that these searches and this situation that Lupe is going through as a young person can only be endured in community, together; that cannot be pains or worries that are experienced alone. Thinking about it as a problem that, when faced together, gives hope and strength.”
He points out that with the title of the book they pay tribute to the protest song of the 70s. It seems that we no longer live in a dictatorship, but we are still witnesses of state terrorism and a narco-state. It is a different phenomenon, but not so far from what young people had to face at that time.
And, within the book, there are many of those protest songs from the 70s. There is Violeta Parra, Mercedes Sosa, Silvio Rodríguez. And we wonder why we don't continue writing them.”
The title will be presented at the FIL Guadalajara.
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