Las Mujeres: Three Generations of Latin American Women Write, Paint for Social Justice Visit MC


Pictured here are the “Three mujeres”

Before a quiet audience, three generations of Latin American women who write and paint for social justice prepared to share their work, and inspire a newer generation to fight for justice.

Argentinian poet Alicia Partnoy, her mother, Raquel Partnoy, and daughter, Ruth Irupe Sanabria visited MC Rockville on Mar. 31, 2016. Partnoy, her mother, and her daughter devote their lives to speak out against acts of femicide and injustice for “much goes unexpressed, [amongst those] who have no voice, or platform for expression.”

Pictured here are the "Three mujeres"
Pictured here are the “Three mujeres” Alicia Partnoy (left) Ruth Irupe (Middle) and Raquel Partnoy (right) (photo: Safia Mafia)

With each woman representing a different time period, the past, the present, and the future, they continue to hold on the common goal of utilizing their real life experiences, and transforming them into written emotion.

Through sharing their life experiences, whether through essays, poems, or paintings, each of the three generations contributes to shaping and influencing a future that will defeat the oppression of any being.

According to Partnoy, “fighting is not glamorous. It is threatening,” yet with the will to achieve justice for individuals without a voice, is it a fight worth engaging in.

The Dirty War, which began in 1976 to 1983, placed Argentina under military rule, and resulted in approximately 30,000 citizens of Argentina being captured, killed, and “disappeared.” Partnoy was one of the few recovered who “disappeared.” After being held in prison for nearly 3 years, Partnoy was released and shared her story in her autobiography The Little School.

As Sanabria reads her work, and shares their significance to audience, the influence of her families past becomes quite apparent. Beside her, the two past generations who have taught her of origin, each brought together by the passion of sharing art and telling their stories, while establishing the importance of self-expression for the survival of others.

Raquel Partnoy’s artwork and Spanish poems were showcased, which she considered much “heavier and more painful compared to [those written in] English words,” resonate through the atmosphere. The emotion of each poem though written in a foreign script was gently welcomed by the crowd.

A piece by Raquel Partnoy (photo: Safia Mafia)
A piece by Raquel Partnoy (photo: Safia Mafia)

During the event there was a great emphasis on solidarity, the unity among individuals with a common interest, and how it can be attained through the incorporation of translated works.

To all three women, the “English language [became] a shelter that [they] could use to write about [their] past experiences.” Through English, they are able to attract a variety of individuals and introduce the writings of other individuals to a diverse audience.

For the three generations of women, the “voices of the authors who have experienced injustice… encourage [them] to translate and help communicate the message between [the two worlds] of people” who find see the significance in maintaining humanity.