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Bard College Presents “Colors Through the Darkness: Three Generations Paint and Write for Justice” on Monday, March 10

Raquel Partnoy, Alicia Partnoy, and Ruth Irupé Sanabria to Share Their Art, Writing, Memories, and Commentary on the Continuing Struggles for Justice in Argentina

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— On Monday, March 10, at Bard College, Raquel Partnoy, Alicia Partnoy and Ruth Irupé Sanabria—three generations of women from a remarkable Argentinian family whose lives were brutally and forever changed by state terrorism during the military rule in Argentina in the late 1970s and early 1980s—will share their art, writing, memories, and commentary on the continuing struggles for justice in Argentina. The event, “Colors through the Darkness: Three Generations Paint and Write for Justice,” is sponsored by Bard’s Center for Civic Engagement, Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, and the Human Rights, Latin American and Iberian Studies, and Spanish Studies programs. The event is free and open to the public and takes place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center’s László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium.

During the years of military rule in Argentina in the 1970s, Alicia Partnoy was a young student who, along with her husband and thousands of others like them, was “disappeared.” For five months, she was held in a clandestine prison by government forces for daring to argue for social equality and human rights. Her 18-month-old daughter Ruth was fortunate to have been found by her grandparents and raised by Raquel and her husband until Alicia’s release. Alicia was one of the few survivors of this kind of brutal detention, and after two and a half additional years in jail, she was expelled from the country and admitted as a refugee in the United States with her daughter. Her parents later followed, and together they rebuilt their lives in Washington, D.C.

Raquel, Alicia, and Ruth have made use of literature, poetry, and visual art to process their traumatic personal experiences, as well as to raise awareness about human rights abuses in Argentina and other places in the world. The paintings of Raquel Partnoy are a call to action on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. Alicia Partnoy’s 1982 book The Little School was the first testimonial written in English, describing in detail an Argentine secret detention center. It is still widely read and taught today and it was presented as evidence in the recent trials against the genocide perpetrators. Ruth Irupé Sanabria’s book, The Strange House Testifies (2009), is the first book to poetically document the Argentinian genocide from a child’s point of view. Raquel, Alicia, and Ruth will discuss their conviction that active engagement and resistance through creative expression is worth the effort and the risk, providing the possibility of countering destructive violence with creative works that benefit society as a whole.

For more information, call 845-758-6822, or e-mail

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This event was last updated on 02-21-2014