In Cartographies, UGA alumna Marjorie Agosín evokes the many places on four continents she has visited or called home. Recording personal and spiritual voyages, she opens herself to follow the ambiguous, secret map of her memory, which “does not betray.”
Agosín’s journey begins in Chile, where she spent her childhood before her family left in the early days of the Pinochet dictatorship. Of Santiago, Agosín writes, “Day and night I think about my city. I dream the dream of all exiles.” Agosín also travels to Prague and Vienna, ancestral homes of her grandparents, and to Valparaiso in Chile, which received them as immigrants. Kneeling among the yellow mounds at the Terezin concentration camp, where 22 of her relatives died, Agosín places “small stones, shrubs, the stuff of life on graves I did not recognize.” And then on through the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Europe and the Americas. Everywhere, she is drawn to women in whose devotion and creativity she sees a deep vein of hope-from Julia, keeper of the synagogue at Rhodes, to the women potters in the Chilean town of Pomaire.
Agosín writes of diaspora, exile and oppression, yet only to highlight the dignity and valor of those who find refuge in their humanity and their art, in community and tradition.