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