Eugenio Cornejo

Eugenio Cornejo

Eugenio Cornejo

In spite of everything lost in Chile, Argentina, Bulgaria and Belgium, professional and social, in the way of living, in his ephemeral pass through Europe my father had registered the adventure of exile, the romantic and incredible side. Today, after having been submerged in the slides, the question came to me: maybe his dream was to take them back to Chile and give witness of his perils to his friends and family, so that they believe him?

There in his slides is the desire to capture the architecture and landscapes of Europe but also the moments when we meet with other exiles, the coincidences of meeting other pieces of the puzzle in Amsterdam, Paris, Plovdiv, Mons, Brussels or Lund. There is a desire to show a wider world of wonders, no matter what, I think that this was the spirit that kept us moving, the spirit of giving value to simple stuff. His profession of art teacher rendered the tragedy more liveable, more valuable our humble resources. My mother, with her militant and social studies, was lost, the dream had disappeared, nowhere to be found. Obeying the orders of the Party had left us nowhere. She had lost faith in the struggle of her whole life.

Eugenio Cornejo
Eugenio Cornejo

Artistic tools are the only ones left to save our spirits. I can see handmade and painted hats for our birthday parties in Bulgaria and Belgium; my father spent hours making them and gave them away. There was this competitive and cruel spirit among kids towards the newcomers, but I remember that when my father gave away the paper hats, they accepted the hats as treasures, and some children kept bringing them to school, and that gave me value - if the I was very valuable, I should have had some value as well.

Acts to dignify precarity through art. To shape stones in a field to make a table for a barbecue. To transport a table in a truck to make a picnic in the middle of nowhere with chairs and tables and beds, while the children were playing to find arrowheads of obsidian that were there just by pure chance. All of this is documented in the slides.

What I remember is very different - the feeling of separation, struggling to fit, the adults gossiping about The Party, the good and the bad militants, who were the opportunists, a constant battle of a private discourse and a public one that never matched, because of an unnamed fear. The fear and shame of having detracted from Communist Bulgaria, and being blacklisted from The Party, our original family. The consequences of having embraced freedom of choice and traveling. "Extract from The Footprint of the Dream , Marisa Cornejo, 2014

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