When we say that poems and stories move us, we usually mean that they make us feel more deeply, or that they open us up to new knowledge or new ways of thinking.
Acclaimed writer and human rights activist Alicia Partnoy, in conversation with pioneer women’s studies scholar Amy Kaminsky, shows us that poetry and storytelling are not just solitary practices. They are critical elements in the struggle for human rights, for survival, and for justice. They call on readers to become participants, to raise their own voices in solidarity.
This is part of an ongoing series by Ford Hall Forum titled, Beyond Borders: Women’s Stories and the Art of Bearing Witness. Hear captivating storytellers share their work and bear witness to struggles about human rights, memory, belonging, and love.
Image: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels
Learn more about Alicia Partnoy
The song based on Alicia Partnoy’s poem is performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock. Hear their performance at Carnegie Hall.
Check out Amy Kaminsky’s book, The Other/Argentina: Jews, Gender, and Sexuality in the Making of a Modern Nation
Here is a journal article, “Play in Memories of State Terror in Argentina: “The Little School” by Alicia Partnoy”
BIO: Amy Kaminsky Ph.D.
Amy Kaminsky Ph.D., is a professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her specialties include, Spanish and Latin American literature, feminist theory and criticism, Latin American film, exile and national identity in Latin America, Jewish writing and film in Argentina, gender, race, and sexuality.
BIO: Alicia Partnoy Ph.D.
Alicia Partnoy is a human rights activist, poet, college professor, and translator.
She was taken from her home on January 12, 1977, by the Argentinian Army and imprisoned at a concentration camp named The Little School for three and a half months. She was moved from the concentration camp to the prison of Villa Floresta where she stayed for six months only to be transferred to Villa Devoto prison in Buenos Aires. She spent two and a half years as a prisoner of conscience, with no charges.
In 1979, she was forced to leave the country, coming to the U.S. as a refugee with her daughter where they were reunited with her husband in Seattle, Washington. In 1985, she published her story of what had happened to her at The Little School.
She is currently a professor of modern languages and literatures at Loyola Marymount University.