Category Archives: My Story

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.


 

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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.