Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Eduardo José Priotti was 26 years old when he disappeared on November 25, 1976 at the hands of the last Argentine dictatorship, leaving behind his parents, two sisters, and scores of nieces and nephews, some who know him and love him, others who've only heard about him but love him all the same.

The following pieces are small tributes to Eduardo from his sister Faby, who was 13 when her brother disappeared, and her son Simón who has never had the opportunity to meet his beloved uncle. There are some notes and closing remarks at the end.

De Faby--
25 de noviembre de 1976, nunca llegaste a almorzar a casa. . . Y sin embargo te quedaste para siempre en cada uno de los que te amamos. Hermano querido gracias por tu legado de justicia y dignidad.
Eduardo José Priotti 25-11-1976 desaparecido

November 25, 1976, you never arrived home for lunch... And nevertheless, you remain forever in all of those that love you. My dear brother, thank you for your legacy of justice and dignity.
Eduardo José Priotti, disappeared 11-25-1976

De Simón--
Nunca sé como encabezar las cosas que te escribo, no paro de idealizar en cómo sería nuestra relación, si te diría Dito, si te diría tío, si te diría puto o algo así, sabrás, mi manera de relacionarme con el mundo quizá nunca fue ni es la más correcta, pero me gusta pensar en el cómo hubiera sido, cómo hubiera sido si vivieras y me vieras tripero! Cómo hubieran sido nuestras discusiones de política, de arte, de amor. No paro de imaginarme cosas, y aún más se me vienen a la cabeza.
El otro día hablaba con alguien, que yo corro con un poco de ventaja en el sentido que no te conocí, pero te juro que en estas fechas, duele igual que si te hubiera conocido, quizá porque es otro tipo de compromiso, pero sé que tu lucha vive en mí y tu espíritu guerrero va conmigo a todas partes, sé que te amo, al igual que si te hubiera conocido. Sé que quizá en cierto punto estés leyendo esto, y aunque no me gusta creer en las casualidades, viejo, estoy marcado. Todo el mundo me dice que soy parecido a vos, nací el mismo día que vos, con diferencia de 1 hora y 10 minutos si mal no recuerdo. Eso quiere decir algo, quiere decir, que desde algún lugar viniste a mí e imprimiste sobre mi alma tu espíritu soñador.
En algún lado escribí “Tu lucha no fue en vano, tu espíritu vive en mí” y es así como lo siento.
Te ama
Tu sobrino

I never know how to start off the things that I write to you. I never stop envisioning what our relationship would be like or if I could call you Dito or uncle, or even puto* or something like that. You know that my way of interacting with the world perhaps never was nor is the most appropriate, but I like to think about how it would be-- how it would be if you were alive and saw me as a tripero! Or what our conversations about politics, art, or love would be like. I never stop imagining these things, and even more so, they just pop up in my head. I was talking to someone the other day, and I'm at a bit of an advantage in the fact that I've never known you but I swear to you that in these days that it hurts just as much as if I had, maybe because it's a different situation, but I know that your fight lives in me and that I carry your militant spirit everywhere I go. I know that I love you as much as I would had I known you. Perhaps you are reading this, and although I don't like to believe in coincidences viejo, I can't help it. Everyone says that I look like you; I was born on the same day as you, 1 hour and 10 minutes apart if I remember correctly. That has to say something. It says that from wherever you are, you came and marked my soul with your visionary spirit.
I once wrote, "Your fight was not in vain, your spirit lives in me," and that is how I feel.
Love your nephew,

Everything I know about Eduardo I know through Faby and Simón, but I too always felt like I knew and loved him as much as I knew and loved them. Not only did I stare at his picture every day, I saw him in Simón's face, in Faby´s smile. Faby would painfully recall her memories of him, and sometimes we would cry about it, other times we would laugh, and at the end we would hug and go about living the lives that he fought to make better.

Transmitting and translating memory is an arduous task, and I'm afraid I won't have been able to translate Simón and Faby's memories as gloriously as they deserve, but they're stories need to be told. My translations of them may change, but the motive here is to relay the story of Eduardo's generation--30,000 of them disappeared forever--and the generations they left behind that look towards a brighter future for Argentina while always remembering their dark past.

*Puto literally means "faggot," but it is not necessarily regarded as offensive in Argentina. Simón likes to call people names and say very absurd or vulgar things. It's not at all ill-willed; in fact, it's the opposite. It's just his way of being, as he states above.

**A tripero is someone who supports the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata soccer team. Eduardo was an Estudiantes de La Plata fan. Gimnasia and Estudiantes are bitter rivals.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The process of a writer in training

How can I write if I don't exactly know what I believe? Sure, I'll tell you what I think, but I'll change my mind in a few months or later that day, or maybe as I blast loads of rhetoric trying to convince you of something I may unsure of. I'd like to think that I have the same general values, though... justice, equality, liberty... the same values most people hold, but also the same values most people speak out against in different words-- fighting a war maintains our freedom while infringing upon the freedoms of others; we all have equal opportunity but the myth of the self-made man overshadows and denies the existence of structural inequality that is pervasive through black America, through the villas and favelas of South America, through the shanty towns of India; we all have justice, justice served on the innocent black man accused of raping a young girl, justice served on the boy who has to steal food and money in order to help his family, justice served on the white-collar executive who steals millions of dollars... hold on, wait...

That's one thing I do believe in... the continuing cycle of dominance that lies, cheats, steals, but does so because it makes the rules, because it makes the game. We all play along because we're the privileged, we're the strong, because the system gave us what we wanted and we didn't ask questions.

That's why I write... I write because there are stories to tell by people who can't tell them. Some can't read, others can't write, the majority of them don't think that people will listen or they themselves don't have the means to place their stories in the mainstream.

Millions and millions of stories and anecdotes are lost each day, because we don't remember them, because we don't write them down.

So from now until I die, I will reconstruct memories, I will write stories, and I will broadcast them to the world in whichever way I have the means, because our stories deserve to be told, our hearts opened, our humanity exposed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Story of Pilar

We are vagabonds, we travel without seatbelts on, we live this close to death.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The things we carry

I sometimes wish I was full of cliche yet inspirational quotes that would seem to make life more meaningful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I'm not sleeping. Only yesterday did I realize how fast Time runs--he's an Olympic sprinter by profession. His long strides are galloping across the spread of seconds, minutes, hours, days, and I need him to slow down, I need to run faster than he does, however misguided or impossible that is.

My dreams laugh haughtily at me, a laugh from the belly that surges out of a fat and demented king: The day will come, and there is nothing you can say or do.

It's wrong to fear the passage of time, each day brings another sun, another breath, another opportunity. But I want to enjoy the Sun of May for a while longer.