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43 today, mourning

Sister, I think of you so often. I also dream of you from time to time.  The years go by. But you will remain forever in our hearts. You opened a new path for me. Thank you so much.

Happy birthday, Gabriela. My best wishes for your 43 years old. Wherever you are.

2017 Death Anniversary

On February the 9th, 2017, we will celebrate the 7 years of Gabriela Conti’s death in Antarctica. My dear sister, we remember you.

Gabriela
SIEMPRE TE RECORDAREMOS

 

If you are in Buenos Aires, join in our commemorative ceremony open to all Gabriela’s friends and fans, like last year:

  • Meeting point at the main gate of Palermo botanic garden at 6PM
  • Silent walk to the Conti’s former family house in Palermo Viejo
  • Reading of Gabriela Conti’s novel excerpts

In collaboration with the French Asociation des Amis de Gabriela Conti, based in Paris.


 

 

Homage in Antarctica

I am very moved to present a photograph taken yesterday in Antarctica, in the French-Italian base Concordia, in tribute to Gabriela Conti.

Gabriela Conti Concordia - 1

On February the 9th, 2016, exactly 6 years after Gabriela’s death, the Concordia base team wished to send this homage to Jules Nancy, his widower, on their weather balloon.

Gabriela Conti Concordia - 2

“Gabriela Conti
we remember
Concordia base
09.02.2016”

¡Muchas gracias!

Death Anniversary

On February the 9th, 2016, we will celebrate the 6 years of Gabriela Conti’s death in Antarctica.

Gabriela
SIEMPRE TE RECORDAREMOS

 

If you are in Buenos Aires, join in our commemorative ceremony open to all Gabriela’s friends and fans:

  • Meeting point at the main gate of Palermo botanic garden at 6PM
  • Silent walk to the Conti’s former family house in Palermo Viejo
  • Reading of Gabriela Conti’s novel excerpts

In presence of Javier Conti and Guillermo Castelo.


 

 

41 today, mourning

Today, Gabriela would have celebrated her 41 years old. On behalf of all your friends and fans, dear sister, I wish you a great birthday. We all miss you. We feel blessed to follow your path, reading your great novels.

In addition, we are particularly touched by the tragic events which stroke Paris yesterday. You used to live close to ‘Place de la Republique’, where took place several of the attacks. I am sure you would have been part of the first artists and intellectuals denouncing these bloody attacks against France, and more generally freedom and peace.

We are part of your fight and will never bow to the terror, dictatorship and ignominy.

Bright Clara

4 days ago, on October the 19th, our 3rd child, our daughter Clara was born in Buenos Aires.

A wonderful little girl.  She is bright, in every sense of the word.

Thank you all for your presence and gifts. More photographs soon by email.


 

Re-reading ‘Verdades’

Winter is at its peak in Buenos Aires. Being pregnant (now, it is official!), I have time to re-read my sister’s books. After several private messages about ‘Verdades’ (thank you all!), I decided to begin with this novel.

Gabriela got the renowned ‘Premio Literario Buenos Aires’ in 2000, notably for her powerful vision and style in ‘Verdades’. I should also say that her political way, deep and subtle, is really strong. She set the whole plot in an unexisting country (Tambia) but was very inspired by her trip to Central African Republic, as her readers know.

On the contrary to her, I never visited Africa but felt very close to the people and landscapes she described. I also felt quite frightened by the social threat of witchcraft in some African regions. It is beyond imagination. Actually, I felt in her novels some unconscious streams, showing parallels between witchcraft in Africa and dictatorship in Argentina.

Re-reading ‘Verdades’, I also realized I got the opportunity to travel to 2 great locations thanks to Gabriela: Antarctica and Paris. These are wonderful gifts from her. Maybe one day I will go to Africa as well.

Gabriela’s Posthumous Novel

A reading of excerpts of Gabriela’s posthumous novel will take place next week at the ‘Cite Internationale des Arts’ in Paris.

Her posthumous novel, entitled ‘Vivre’, was written in French. It was interrupted by Gabriela’s death in February 2010. It should be published in 2016 after a long process for a proper reference edition.

The excerpts reading will take place in the Gallery of ‘Cite Internationale des Arts‘.

I am very impatient to participate to the publication events in 2016.


Reading of excerpts of Gabriela Conti’s posthumous novel

July 17th, 2015, 6PM

Gallery of the ‘Cite Internationale des Arts’

18 rue de l’Hotel de Ville, 75004 Paris, France

New exhibition in Paris

A short note for all my parisian friends: the Antarctica exhibition will be presented at Mèdiathèque Musicale de Paris from April the 15th to 29th.

I will be in Buenos Aires. But my photographic series Details of Ephemera will be exhibited, as well as my documentary Antarctica, Looking for Gabriela.

Very proud to be part of this new tribute to my sister!


 Antarctica Exhibition (Tribute to Gabriela Conti)

April 15th-29th, 2015

Mèdiathèque Musicale de Paris

Forum des Halles, 8 Impasse Saint-Eustache, 75001 Paris, France

Tribute Evening Video

I am back to Buenos Aires, after 3 wonderful weeks spent in France, my mother’s country. The trip was amazing. I feel closer to my biological family, now.

The Tribute Exhibition and opening were incredible moments, that I have shared with my husband Leonardo, as well as many people who were friends or acquaintances of Gabriela, and whom I didn’t know.

I have been very moved by their testimonies and signs of friendship. I have been especially happy to meet two members of the ‘2048 Expedition’, with whom my sister lived her great adventure in Antarctica: Olivier Bertin and Adrien Moyaert. Thank you all, especially The City Hall of Paris’ 10th arrondissement and Agathe Simon for having organized this great event!

During the opening, a video has been directed by Agathe Simon. I wish to share it with you today.

French Radio celebrates Gabriela Conti

Tonight on the French Radio (Radio France), a radio play celebrates my sister Gabriela Conti. Unfortunately, there will be no Spanish version, only French.

This radio show by Agathe Simon is based on an original idea by Guillaume Sauvage, a French writer whom my sister met in Paris in 2008 during a dinner at their publisher, Claudine Beal. Then, my sister  visited Guillaume in Peru and experienced an Ayahuasca ceremony.

The radio show will be broadcast today at 11PM, meaning 7PM in Buenos Aires. Click here to listen to it online.


 

More infos in French on the French Radio website.

New Homage Exhibition

I am proud to announce an Art Exhibition dedicated to my sister Gabriela Conti will soon be held in Paris.

This exhibition by Agathe Simon will be her first Homage Exhibition in France. My documentary ‘Antarctica, Looking for Gabriela’ and a series of 6 photographs I have shot in Antarctica (‘Homenage a Gabriela’) are part of this project. The opening (by invitation) will take place in Paris on February the 9th, 2015, exactly 5 years after Gabriela’s tragical death in Antarctica.

For this very event, I am pleased to fly to France. This will be my first time in my mother’s country. I am very impatient to live this great experience, accompanied by my husband Leonardo.

City Hall 10th District, Paris


Antarctica Exhibition (Tribute to Gabriela Conti)

February 10th-28th, 2015

City Hall of 10th District

72 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 75010 Paris, France


 

If you would like to be invited to this special event and to celebrate the memory of Gabriela Conti, feel free to reach me. Please specify if you knew Gabriela and/or her work.

Happy Birthday Gabriela

 ¡Feliz cumpleaños, querida Gabriela!

Gabriela

Today is a special day for me. Today, I celebrate your 40 years old.

You died at the age of 35 and we never met. But I wanted to tell you how proud I feel to have a sister like you. A sister who wrote great books. A sister who reached South Pole.

Thank you Gabriela for being a light for me. Javier, Jules and all my family send you our love.

Un abrazo muy grande.

Documentary Excerpt

Here is a 3mn excerpt of my 52mn documentary ‘Antarctica, Looking for Gabriela’. In February 2013, I went to Antarctica in order to shoot this film, following the traces of my sister Gabriela during the ‘2048 Expedition’.

This film is currently screened at the French Institute of Algiers.

Excerpt of my 52mn documentary shot in Antarctica, following the traces of my sister Gabriela Conti in '2048 Expedition'.

Homage Exhibition

The French Institute of Algiers is currently programming an exhibition dedicated to my sister Gabriela Conti. My documentary ‘Antarctica, Looking for Gabriela’ and a series of 6 photographs I have shot in Antarctica (‘Homenage a Gabriela’) are part of this exhibition.

The opening is tonight, 6PM. I won’t be present as I am unable to leave Buenos Aires at this period. But if you wish to visit it, this Homage Exhibition will take place in Algiers until October the 23rd, 2014.

More info

Institut Français d'Algérie

Child abduction

Juana and Ramiro Medina “adopted” me at birth and raised me under the name of Gloria Medina. Close collaborators of Argentinian dictatorship, they have been sentenced last month for child abduction.

Gabriela in Antarctica

Here is a photograph of Gabriela Conti. It was taken by Olivier Bertin, a French astrophysicist who is a colleague and friend of Jules Nancy, Gabriela’s husband. It takes place in Marambio base, in the Antarctic Peninsula, the day before ‘2048 Expedition’ begins.

Gabriela in Marambio base, Antarctica, October 2009 © Olivier Bertin
Gabriela in Marambio base, Antarctica, October 2009 © Olivier Bertin

My Photographic Work

I am currently working on the photographs I have taken in Antarctica. A lot of work. As my friends ask me often to show a sample of my work, I post today a first image of my project. These are air bubbles which have been confined in the ice sometimes for the last tens of thousands of years, sometimes hundreds of thousands of years. I have photographed these air bubbles on Potter Cove, evoking the fragility of life, as a tribute to Gabriela. Separated by dictatorship, we have never met.

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Air bubbles captured in the ice, by Cecilia Conti – 2014

Back to Buenos Aires

I am back in Buenos Aires. But my mind is still in Antarctica.

Potter
Potter Cove by Cecilia Conti – 2014

 

The way back has been pretty adventurous, because of the bad weather. But I feel fulfilled by this amazing adventure. My everyday life and casual environment seem a bit weird after this experience.

This one-a-time life experience is still unfolding as it has had a big influence on my artistic work, as a photographer and videographer.

Gabriela’s travelogue

The weather is so bad that we have been locked inside for the last 3 days. Yesterday, we have had problems with water supply too.

I have time to think at my sister. To guess how she felt, being in this very base, 4 years ago, just before the beginning of her adventure.

A scientist showed me the room she had for the few nights she has spent here.


 

I re-read some excerpts of her travelogue, that I wish to share:

Antarctica is the continent of incertitude.

Totally true! You never know what will happen. No idea of the return date, for example. Maybe in 2 days, maybe in 2 weeks. Pretty disconcerting.

We are all aware that we could die here with disconcerting ease.

I guess this was more the case for Gabriela than me… Anyway, the weather is quite scary today, with howling wind.

I am overwhelmed by the beauty of Antarctica.

It couldn’t be said better.


 

Thank you all for your messages and support! Even if the adventure is marvelous, I miss all of you, as well as Buenos Aires, Villa Crespo and our lovely house.

Unfolding Adventure

The life on Carlini Base is amazing. A special mixture of army rules (fixed schedule) and wild adventure (being in the middle of nowhere). We went yesterday on Fourcade Glacier for a ride on the ice with snowmobiles.

I am not sure to write a lot on my blog while being here. As I have a lot to experience and accomplish.

My art project is doing well. I work on the air bubbles captured in the ice. I have filmed some Gentoo Penguins yesterday. I think the Internet connection is OK today, in order I can post a pic.

M

Tonight, we party with the scientists and soldiers of the base: Argentinian pizza and asado!

From Carlini Base

On February the 9th, I have been unable to post something about the anniversary of Gabriela’s death. Because the Internet connection was out of order.

In the meanwhile, I have worked on my art project here, as a director and photographer. My tribute to Gabriela. I have lately shot these amazing Sea Elephants, which were on the shore, at the foot of Fourcade glacier.

se

I live an awesome adventure.

I am in Antarctica!

I write this post from Carlini Base, in Antarctica, thanks to a limited Internet connection. I won’t be able to post any of my photographs, only these few words.

I feel very moved to be in the very place where was my sister Gabriela Conti, before the departure of the ‘2048 Expedition’.

The weather is really bad today, and the sea rough. We will celebrate tonight the 4 years of the arrival at South Pole of the expedition. On February the 9th, we will celebrate the 4 years of the death of Gabriela.

Manuscripts and Books

Here are some pictures I have lately taken: manuscripts and books by Gabriela.

DSC_4221

These traces are very intimate. A good way to feel closer to my deceased sister.

DSC_4224

I didn’t know her books. I am very impressed. When my kids let me enough time, I can immerse myself in her universe. She makes me discover literature.

Family Archives

I am very moved today to share with you some family archives I have just received. Jules Nancy, Gabriela’s widower, has just sent them here, thanks to a friend of him who was traveling to Argentina.

DSC_4198

Less than 3 months after having discovered my true identity, I can finally watch and touch these objects and pictures, which belong to my real family: the French maternal family (Duval, from Paris) and the Argentinian paternal family (Conti, from Córdoba).

DSC_4208

I have taken these precious objects in picture yesterday. A lot of documents are quite old. Gabriela kept them when she left Argentina during the economical crisis.

DSC_4207

Now, I know the past. Which I keep vivid inside me. These objects belong to my family. To have them with me (before sending them back to France for an upcoming exhibition) allows me to feel my roots and to believe in my future.

Shortlisted for a residency in Antarctica!

I am very pleased and honored to announce I have been shortlisted for a creative residency in Antarctica.

My project ‘Antarctica, Looking for Gabriela’ will be supported by the National Direction of Antarctica of the Argentinian Government and the International Organization for Antarctica.

I will shoot a documentary as well as photographs in the white continent. A wonderful experience to come!

Cecilia
© Leonardo Martínez

About Gabriela

Today is Gabriela’s birthday. She would have had 39 years. Here is a short presentation of her life.

© Jules Nancy 2007
© Jules Nancy 2007

Gabriela Conti (1974 – 2010) is a key figure of early 21st Century literature. Of French-Argentine nationality, she was honoured by Premio Literario Buenos Aires in 2000 and awarded the Grand prix de littérature contemporaine in 2001.

Her family history is one punctuated by exile. In 1943, her mother’s parents fled Nazi France and settled in Buenos Aires. In 1978, Gabriela was sent to Paris to escape from Argentinian dictatorship, after her mother was kidnapped.

Besides her novels, Gabriela Conti is well known for her adventures throughout the world, notably in Central African Republic, Peru and Papua New Guinea.

In 2009, she was a member of ‘2048 Expedition’, in Antarctica. On February the 7th, 2010, two days before her tragic death, she became the first woman from Argentine nationality to reach South Pole. She leaves behind no trace no body.

My Fake Identity

Cecilia 1982

It was under the Argentinian dictatorship. I was 5. I was living in the Barrio of Villa Crespo. At that time, my name was Gloria Medina. I was a beautiful fairy, but everything was fake: my parents, my identity, my name, my story.

Gabriela in 1977

Gabriela 1977

I am very moved by this picture. Gabriela is almost 3. It is in October 1977, under the Argentinian dictatorship. The photograph is Javier, Gabriela’s father. It takes place in the kitchen of the family house in Nicaragua Street, Buenos Aires (Barrio de Palermo). Soon before, our mother was kidnapped. Soon after, Gabriela was sent in exile in Paris.

Two Sisters in 1980

Today, I wish to share 2 pictures of the year 1980.


These two little girls photographed in 1980 were sisters. One was living in Argentina, the other in France. Because of a dictatorship, they never got the chance to meet.


 

Cecilia 1980

The first picture is me, in 1980. I am almost 3. The place is a vacation house close to Mar del Plata. At that time, my name was Gloria Medina. During the next 30 years, I have been fully unaware that my ‘parents’, Juana and Ramiro Medina, were close collaborators of Argentinian dictatorship, and responsible for my mother’s death and my sister’s exile. I was raised as a single child.


 

Gabriela 1980

The second picture is Gabriela, in 1980. She is almost 6. The place is a vacation house in France, in ‘Ardeche’ region. At that time, Gabriela was in exile, raised by our maternal aunt as a single child.


 

New Ties

I have lately met Javier Conti, Gabriela’s father. I am currently in touch with Gabriela’s widower, who lives in Paris and will soon send me photographs. I am discovering my new family.

But all the persons with whom I share blood ties are dead: my mother Francoise, my sister Gabriela, my grandmother Analía. And my father is still unknown.

Thanks to my husband and children, I am able to face this situation.

 

A New Birth

On July the 25th, I went to the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of May Square). On September the 29th, I discovered my new identity.

It’s all very confusing and I have a strange feeling. I’m not the one I was. It will take time to understand it all, and especially to take everything that happened to me.
Thank you Gabriela for doing the DNA test. It is through this that I found out you were my sister, and a new life begins for me.