In the early 1900s, Galician women who emi- grated alone were hosted in Buenos Aires by the Tertiary Carmelites, the “Daughters of Maria” or by the “Servant Girl’s Protection Association”. Hardship, abandonment, sexual assaults, single mothers... as cause, another distant and mock- ing city, where most of them became “servants” of domestic maids. Such is the backdrop to A cicatriz branca.
Represented in the collective imaginary as faith- ful puppies, hardworking and illiterate, often as pig-headed, twisted and tightwad, as witty and laughable in the radio and film series “Cándida”, as an object of desire, at times, the “Galician woman’s syndrome” is identified by certain pho- bias, a marked guilt, the fear of ridicule and the panic of being in the talk of the town, the fear of being judged.
With one single image in mind, the embrace of your loved ones at the pier; with a cheese, a piece of bread, a quilt and, if it is the case, a sewing machine, her bundle — when someone waited for them — it joined six canvas shirts or a few threads of saffron for those who went to pick them up. Often, an illness would appear on the crossing, as the first symptom of the loss and of a process of estrangement that was apparently generated when joining the dances and gatherings of the Society which grouped together those from her parish. Getting married, generally “without think- ing” was her natural end to such an extent that the club of Lugo, or the Asturian club, worked as the two major marriage agencies.
Perhaps, the most significant moments for female migration were the 1920s and 1930s, with the civil war and the exile as inflection, and the years
of Peronism, when the female immigrant rises to position of industrial worker and uses Evita as a reference.
The characters that plot the story of A cicatriz branca have totally different origins, to a certain degree all immigrants are at the same time. They are here and there, belong to that time and also invade the present; sometimes it is the imaginary that survives together with a strange capacity to recognize/bear the loss while an inner journey is developed which, as every journey, changes their behavior, and with it their instincts.
Margarita Ledo Andión
Poet and writer, the central male character of the film ‘A cicatriz branca’ (White Scar) stems from her novel Porta Blindada (Edicións Xerais, Vigo, 1990); researcher and essayist on film d’auteur books as Cine de fotógrafos (Gustavo Gili, Bar- celona 2005), which won her the award Premio Espais d’Art Comtemporani; experimental film- maker in ‘Illa’ (2009) or ‘Cienfuegos, 1913 (2009); political agitator and feminist, she promotes dialogue between past and present around un- resolved historical issues in her documentaries ‘Santa Liberdade’ (Galiza/Brazil/Venezuela, 2004) and ‘Liste, Pronunciado Líster’ (Galiza, 2005). Pro- fessor of Communication Studies at the Univer- sity of Santiago de Compostela, she develops academic projects about small cinemas, diversity policies and new modes of cultural consumption. Margarita Ledo is a tenured member of the Real Academia Galega [Galician Royal Academy]. She also chairs and co chairs local and international scientific associations in the field of Communica- tion Sciences and she went into exile during the Franco dictatorship.
- Margarita Ledo Andión