Magazine article New Internationalist

Today Is Not like Yesterday: A Chilean Journey // Review

Magazine article New Internationalist

Today Is Not like Yesterday: A Chilean Journey // Review

Article excerpt

What makes this book so compelling is the way striking portrait photographs from the early 1970s in Chile have been used by the Polumbaums to trace the same people 20 years on. This gives the book an integrity of purpose that fixes you with a truthful and sometimes unsettling gaze.

A gentle portrait of the poet Ramon Riquelme, taken by the Polumbaums in 1972, was also used by the secret police to track him down after the military coup in 1973. The title of the book comes from a line of Riquelme's poetry, written in prison.

Carmen Jarpa has this to say of her former companeros after her partner 'Mickey' went into hiding and was eventually shot: 'During all the time I was alone, not a single one of them came to see me, not even to leave me a piece of bread. Now that things are changing they justify their not coming around by saying they were afraid. They are hypocrites who turned their backs on me.'

Like 'Mickey', Oscar Garreton had his picture posted by the military junta on the front page of El Mercurio - Chile's establishment newspaper - shortly after the coup, under the banner headline: 'FIND AND DETAIN'. …

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