Protest #4: You will be the future of the country March 27th, 2012

Fingers

This man spoke with me for a good long time. He had suffered under the dictatorships as a union organiser; I have forgotten the number of times he said he had been tortured – but I doubt he has.

The current government promised that all the “vanguard of democracy” who had suffered in the 1970s and 1980s would receive a benefit in appreciation for what they had given to the country. With the catch that they had to prove whatever suffering they claimed. Lacking documentation, this man spent months in front of the Ministry of Justice, camping out in the cold and waiting for someone to talk with him.

Towards the end of our conversation, he said to me “You will do great things, your generation will be the future of the country.”

Visually, I loved the layers of v’s in his clothing, and imagined that each layer would correspond to another memory of protest, torture or exile. The v’s start with his fingers, which he frequently used to gesture in my direction, coming with in centimetres of my lens. Maybe that’s appropriate, as the memories are products not only of his mind, but a result of the work he did with his hands. Fingers in a V link back to a worker’s hands, to his clothes and decades of memories he would probably rather not have.

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