Last Friday the 18th, our Spanish class had the unique opportunity of speaking to an Argentinian writer, Enrique Zattara, who was a first hand witness of the events that occurred during the Argentine military dictatorship. This experience was especially relevant to our current learning in A-level Spanish – a human rights organisation ‘Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo’, which had the goal of recovering children stolen from their families and illegally adopted. Our talk with Enrique Zattara allowed us to reinforce our prior knowledge and ask any questions about unclear topics. A bonus was that he gave his account and answered all our questions completely in Spanish! This was also incredibly useful for us, in developing our listening and interpreting skills in a foreign language.
Throughout the talk, we were given a plethora of information that widened our understanding of the events in Argentina, as well as a holistic understanding of the politics in South America as a whole. This included the myriad of dictatorships around the continent, like Augusto Pinochet in Chile and Jorge Rafael Videla in Argentina. We learned about how South Americans were received in Europe, Spain in particular – which we could also link to our A-level topic about immigration in the Spanish-speaking world. Enrique Zattara touched on the issue of colourism within the Spanish-speaking community – differing treatments of the fairer-skinned in Spain compared to other Latin Americans who had a darker complexion. As an example of his experience in Argentina, he described the casual oppression of the military, providing us with an instance when he was stopped by the police, without rhyme or reason. He also described the economic disparity present in Argentina (‘los pobres y los ricos’), along with the scepticism of the poorer sectors regarding those in power, as only the rich were able to vote.
All in all, our Spanish class thoroughly benefitted from this experience, and we thank Ms Martos for allowing us to have the opportunity!
Joy Year 13