Södertälje Konsthall, Canto General, 2024

Canto Soto Salinas

Let me tell you a love story.

My grandfather, Hernán Soto Gálvez, disappeared in 1977 during the dictatorship in Chile. My grandmother, Graciela Salinas, then began searching for him all over the world. In 1989, the dictatorship ended, but he was still missing. Around 2010, my grandmother started showing signs of Alzheimer's. On September 28, 2012, two of his collarbones were identified from a mass grave outside Santiago. His remains were then buried in the memorial monument Memorial del Detenido Desaparecido y del Ejecutado Político in Santiago, Chile. My grandmother never found out that he had been identified. When she passed away in 2020, she was buried in the family grave in another cemetery. So, even in death, they are not together.
On a memorial day commemorating 50 years of struggle, my mother, Margarita Soto Salinas, and I made a symbolic journey in my grandfather's name from the mass grave in Cuesta Barriga to his wife. Then we returned to Cuesta Barriga. It was a journey where they were reunited for a moment. Around 21 minutes into the video, their paths meet, and a loop of Argentine tango, which they used to dance to, plays for about 1 minute.