This summer I am working for Aurelia Gomez in the Spanish department here at Haverford. My main project (along with another student from Bryn Mawr) has been the transcription of some 12 hours worth of interviews and conversations that Aurelia conducted last summer in Mexico. The subjects of these interviews are female ex-guerrilla fighters, an impressive group of older women** who spent much of their young-adult years fighting in guerrilla groups against Mexico’s repressive government during la Guerra Sucia — the Dirty War– of the late 60′s and 70′s. Many of these women were disappeared, tortured, and imprisoned because of their involvement. In the interviews, these women give testimonies of their experiences, and discuss themes ranging from that of maternity and having children during the guerrilla movement or while in jail, to forgiveness and moving forward.
**These women are in their sixties now, which means that they were approximately my age (22) when they were fighting, living in exile, or imprisoned during the Dirty War forty-some years ago. Some were much younger when they first became involved.
Working with these interviews this summer has been a fantastic opportunity. Although the guerrilla movements, the Dirty War and its disappearances, torture, and and imprisonments have been written about in various forms for the past four decades, next to nothing has been written about the women involved (and involved as actively as the men) during this time. This project examines the period from the perspectives of the women involved, and gives a space for their truly remarkable experiences to be shared. Watching and transcribing the interviews has also allowed me to practice my spanish, a lot, which, as a Spanish major is something that I enjoy, and need lots of. It has definitely been a treat, and a learning experience.