Sunita and Puja: Inherited Loss

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Sunita’s father was taken by the police when she was only two years old. Though she doesn’t remember the arrest, the loss of her father impacts many aspects of her family life. In this picture, she holds a book about families of the disappeared. A picture of her father displayed in her family’s home is on the cover. The author of the book, Simon Robins, also researched the needs of families of the missing that informs NEFAD’s work.

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Puja was also very young when members of the army arrested her father, and he was never seen again. For the Advocacy Quilting project, she designed a square showing her father being taken away to a distant army barrack. Like Sunita, Puja grew up with the story of her father’s disappearance. Children of victims of political violence can inherit their parents’ trauma, whether its through their stories or their silences. For children of the disappeared, the stories offer little substance to explain their father’s absence, or their family’s grief.