Interview with Mariana Enríquez on the fears and ghosts that surround us yesterday and today

The mosquitoes came back. There is a smell of repellent. “They give the last blow,” says a man who sprays his ankles, wrists and ears, especially to scare away those responsible for Dengue. It’s a humid day, a discreet dew clings to everything.
At 3 p.m., there is already a queue in front of the largest hall of the 48th Buenos Aires International Book Fair, the José Hernández, which can accommodate 1,000 people. ANDThey are waiting for Mariana Enríquez, the journalist and writer, who will talk two hours later about her latest book: “A sunny place for dark people”, or who will rather talk about her theme: horror in everyday life, in the body, in our daily politics.

At 5 p.m., punctually and with the room full, Enríquez takes the stage with the writer and professor Juan Mattio, who will be responsible for interviewing her, guiding her to that dark space where questions about the nature of horror are born. , in which the ghosts live, the personal ones, those of history, the most current ones, the real ones. Enríquez will talk about each of them. And he’ll go even further to explain why Javier Milei’s victory seems like a serious problem. “Between those who voted for Milei, of whom I think the vast majority have good intentions, and those who think differently, there is such a large chasm, I think it is a problem on both sides. » will say.

Although the ghosts and horror of his books hover, the conversation begins in a joking tone. “A volcanic eruption is horrible, a tsunami is horrible, and what happens to your body as you age is also horrible. And it’s completely natural. I think the body is of poor quality. It doesn’t last long and it gets out of balance quickly,” he said before starting to laugh in the room. It’s a nervous laugh. Physical reality can be scary.

They will also laugh when I talk about artificial intelligence (AI) and say: “What makes me grumpy is that they are building an AI to replace us. “They are crazy: we should create a machine that massages your feet, not a machine that takes away your work or your creativity.”

But Enríquez will become more serious when the game opens to questions from the public, and there will be one last one, about the current government. The time for her speech is almost up, but she will take the time to respond to what the woman who asked her called a horror.
“There was no reason to think this wouldn’t happen to us. For me, this depresses me in many ways. It depresses me that those of us who think differently, quote unquote, have failed to convince people. And I don’t believe that the huge majority who voted for Javier Milei are either bad people or want a worse future. I think these are people who want a better future and who love their children. But between these people and those who think differently, there is a chasm so large that I think it’s a problem on both sides. I think there was a side, certainly mine, which, out of moral superiority, set up a narrative that not everyone agreed with. It’s true that many of us continue to live in microclimates: I barely know people who voted for Milei, which I think is a problem because there’s too much silence. And what depresses and frustrates me regarding the question of dictatorship and the negationism that has taken hold is that many things have stopped talking. That there is no conversation, that the conversation is closed, is very bad. There was very strong talk about keeping memory alive when in reality, memory was artificially kept alive. I don’t think we’re to blame, but I do believe that there are historical forces that are pulling all the discourse toward a denialist right on one side, and on the other side, we didn’t see it coming. And one, progress, is supposed to see the other. I think we stopped seeing each other. There were some kids watching some really cool videos and we thought they’d get over it. It was believed that youth was exclusively that of the green scarf, and it was not just that. Or this problem where we saw the guy who was beaten twenty times and when he complained we said: what a job. No, it’s not a faco, they tried it twenty times and he got scared. I have also been part of this discourse by action, omission or otherwise. It was all there. Not having seen it is a problem,” she will say, seriously, very seriously.

He will also say: “We must try to understand what is happening beyond judgment, beyond horror because being horrified is of no use. Because it’s history and history is unstoppable. Staying in this horror solves nothing. Especially because we won’t be able to dialogue with others.”
Almost nothing has been said about his new book. Enríquez spoke of horror, of very real ghosts. Those from before, those from today.

Outside, there is not enough water for it to rain and the headlines are already wondering how long it will rain in Buenos Aires; It was cold two days ago and the headlines were wondering how long winter would last. The mosquitoes are back, the question of dengue will resurface. Fear, hidden, bursts into everyday life.

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