Hidden at the bottom of the shelf were dozens of videotapes holding all kinds of treasures. Staring at them, I wondered, And what do I do with this? There were videos of my concerts during the nineties, and I, who prefer not to look back, thought, And what if I get rid of them? After all, I am no longer «that person»…
But there, along with the concerts, were also a series of tapes titled, «My Father’s House», and I remembered that «that» had a project in mind that was never completed. I wanted to tell the story of the way one went about acquiring a tomb in the cemetery of Armariz because when my father died, we had nowhere to bury him. For months, I recorded the process my family underwent to obtain one of the early vaults for Dositeo. I even recorded one of his friends, Redondo, making a complete renovation of «my father’s house»: cleaning the old tomb, widening the space for a large coffin, evening it, and placing the marble.
Even though I did not want to look at these recordings, I suddenly remembered how important the process had been for me. It was my own historic memory of my father’s unexpected death. It was my own individual obituary.
It has been a year since The New York Times opened a new category in its obituary section titled Overlooked where it intends to correct the fact that most of the obituaries included in the newspaper since 1851 were those of white men. History writes itself in thousands of ways, and honoring the dead is one of them. Even though some of the dead passed away more than a century ago, recovering the memory of those who have been ignored in order to understand the present situation is necessary to repair those great little holes tearing apart the world.