Life as a Lie hdv 9:18 min 2012
Paula Urbano explores the experience of a young Argentinean woman, Maria Eugenia, attempting to navigate the diverse narratives about her adoption that were told to her after her parents were disappeared. During 1976-1983, 30 000 people went missing as a tactic to eliminate political resistance to the Argentinean state. Children born to those incarcerated were kidnapped and illegally adopted by military families. While growing up with a foster family, Maria Eugenia was told radically different stories about her past, the identities, lives and deaths of her parents as well as the reason why she grew up without them. In this video work, Urbano creates intimate conversations with Maria Eugenia where she relates each complex and contradictory story as well as how each would impact her own identity. Urbano presents fiction and fact alongside each other, creating a psychological portrait of Maria Eugenia. The fractured portraits shifting angle, screen and environment, reveal her struggle to illuminate political secrets and intimate lies as well as it conveys the internal grappling she lives due to her own shifting identity oriented within multiple potential truths. Urbano’s framing of the film conveys her frustration and confusion as well as strength as she tries make sense of the impossible narratives presented as her own composite history.