by Leonie Andriessen
By Linde Helfrich
Unfortunately the womens organization FEIM had to cancel, so we had some unexpected free time. Some of us decided to walk to el Ateneo, a beautiful old library situated in what used to be a theater. On our way there we were caught up in a demonstration: the national sport of the Argentines as we have been told. However, this one was quite different from the ones we had seen before. A shouting crowd took over the street with black flags, burning tires and loud firework while a thick black smoke covered the sky. We were impressed by this demonstration, although it seemed business as usual for the Argentine pedestrians.
After our visit to the bookstore and a nice dinner, we gathered with the group and got away from the noise of the city in Teatro Colon. Dressed in our most fancy dresses and suits we enjoyed Verdis Requiem in the main opera house of Buenos Aires, for only 200 pesos. Once again we had an exciting, interesting day full of new experiences!
Day 6: Abuelas and Minister of Justice
by Esmee Derks
Wednesday the 4th of July concluded the first week of our trip in Buenos Aires. We went to the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, which is an organization of mostly grandmothers (hence the abuelas) who are searching for their grandchildren that were taken from the disappeared parents during the Guerra Sucia. There was one woman who was searching for her brother or sister (the child was not born yet when the mother was kidnapped) and shared her story with us. Also, a man, who is one of the grandchildren the Abuelas found, shared his journey. He was taken from his parents right after he was born, but the family of the disappeared did not know that the mother was pregnant, neither did she herself. By coincidence the man found his truthful family again. Both stories were very impressive and resulted in a lot of questions from the whole group. I think none of us can imagine what it would be like having your parents kidnapped..
After the Abuelas we visited the Ministry for Justice and Human Rights. We were honoured with a brief visit of the minister himself, who is a really funny man. Just before he left he agreed to answer questions, but only if they were proposed in Spanish. As a joke of course! After he left we had a sort of lecture about the history of Argentine politics and how that resulted in the system they have nowadays.
Some law students of the University of Buenos Aires were present as well, and we were allowed to ask questions. Yet that took a little long, and then JW proposed to go to a bar and have a more informal setting to continue our conversations, which was very nice! We shared our opinions about Dutch and European politcs, and the guy I spoke with shared his opinion about the Argentine politics. Afterwards we went to have dinner with two Argentine girls, and added each other on Facebook to stay in touch. I believe it was amazing to for once speak English to an Argentine person, and also to get to know some people we could talk to on a political level!