Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Literature; Human Rights

Project Advisor 1

Nicole Caso

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The three female authors I study for this paper- Alicia Kozameh, Alicia Partnoy, and Nora Strejilevich- are all survivors of the Argentinean military Junta’s state-inflicted terror and who have written, with great beauty, about the horrors they experienced as political prisoners during the Dirty War. Through the written word these survivors gain the power to reclaim their human dignity and a sense of distinctive selfhood which were severely damaged through trauma and torture. Through analyzing four works: Steps Under Water(1996) by Alicia Kozameh, The Little School(1986) and Revenge of the Apple(1999) by Alicia Partnoy, and A Single Numberless Death(2002) by Nora Strejilevich, this study attempts to answer the question: How does fiction create a path for potential healing? In an attempt to answer this question this paper explores how fiction and imagination offer a new way to denouncing injustice compared to standard retelling of facts that take place in courtroom settings. All four works examined represent how fictionalized perceptions create empathy. Through reshaping perspective all three authors represent not just a single experience but rather a collective experience of disappearance that is intertwined. Ultimately, the stories told by these three survivors are stories of loss and renewal. Although their wounds may never be completely healed and their mourning will never come to a complete end, they show how literature and the act of remembering is essential to demand justice in the name of human rights.

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