You, the disappeared 

 

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Since the seventies, images of hundreds of thousands of murdered & disappeared young people from Chile and the rest of the Condor countries have become endogenous to our visual landscape: those haunting faces captured in better moments. Knowing their awful fate makes them even more static and mysterious.

At every political event or march, those faces stare back at us from their unknown whereabouts, phantasmagoric presences in lives that have reluctantly moved forward without them.

Those images have become ever more prevalent in the visual age we live in. The black and white faces of a generation of lost souls, pictures that continue to resurface without consent or reason, happier times before the great darkness descended, now mean so many things to so many people.

Those dark still eyes beg for us to uncover the ghastly truth about what happened to them. They plead for us never to forget. They bring the tyrants and the liars to task. With their vague hauntings they seem urge us to fight on, begging to be found. I have never got used to seeing these pictures. Without fail I feel alarmed, saddened and curious and until they are found, this feeling won’t fade.

 

You, the missing

Forever young eternal tragedy

Trapped in rubble and blood, some place dusty

Insidious silence

Eyes that cannot see

Petrified by salty tears of despair

Pleading eyes

From your photo cascades the violence of your absence

Sarin & drownings and bloodied rags

Irreversible rage and greedy silence

They stamped those eyes shut but we sense them

Across minds, times and lives

No bodies, no trace, stuck in your dusty grave

Burning eyes immortalised in those still frames

 

Forty three years have passed. Each decade throws up new agonies. We never cease to ask ¿Dónde están?

In memory of Ernesto Torres, Maria Teresa Eltit, Humberto Lagos Marin

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