It’s like she had never existed, 2018

HD video and sound
Spanish with English closed captions 
(Transcript available for download)  
22:03 mins

Warning: Contains flickering images.

Content disclaimer: This work contains historical language used to describe health conditions and disability as well as discussions of institutional harm that some viewers may find challenging. 

It’s like she had never existed pieces together the life of Coquis, Ana García Jácome’s late aunty, whose absence from family stories compelled the artist to understand why. Since Coquis died the year she was born, Jácome draws on fragments of information to assemble a memory of her aunt through photos, medical documents and interviews with family members, accompanied by animated drawings. This sensitive inquiry reveals a family’s best attempts to care for a loved one with additional support needs while balancing desires for the whole family and navigating the disabling barriers of their wider social environment. Within this mix of factors is a reflection on institutional harm, expectations of gender roles in relation to care and how language reveals underlying social values.