Maria Ines Farias, 52 years old in the natural reserve and mapuche Curruhuinca in San Martin de los Andes.Teacher and then teacher trainer, she is retired since early 2021. Since 2012 she has participated in "Feminist Rescuers" ( Socorristas en red), an activist network that accompanies women in their desire for abortion.

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STORY  1

Maria Ines Farias, San Martin de Los Andes


1968 resuena en la memoria colectiva como evocación de los aires de libertad y rebelión que batieron en varios países, de la Primavera de Praga al Mayo Francés. Era un espíritu de cambio lejano del contexto en que nació ese año María Inés Farías, en el seno de una familia religiosa y tradicional de Tucumán, norte de Argentina, poco antes del inicio de la dictadura militar en 1976.

Sin embargo, la rebelión, la búsqueda por romper un orden impuesto poco a poco llegarían a su vida, hasta convertirla en una reconocida militante por el derecho al aborto y su legalización en la Patagonia argentina. 

San Martin de los Andes, a small town of 45,000 inhabitants in the heart of the mountains and lakes of the province of Neuquen, Patagonia. Maria Ines, a native of Tucuman in northern Argentina and from a conservative evangelical family, arrived in this city in 1999, following the transfer of her doctor husband.

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The promise of the wife

Collage from archival images selected with Maria Ines and printed in cianotype. Portrait of Maria Ines' young wife in her kitchen and the hands of her parents passing the wedding ring to each other at their wedding (The prints are not the final prints due to costs and access to cotton paper)
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For Maria Ines, every opportunity is good to talk about abortion and women's rights. The latest occasion was her visit to the florist to buy this plant, where she exchanged with the young saleswoman about the work of "Socorristas en red".

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Portrait of Maria Ines, with her hair blowing in the wind at the viewpoint of San Martin de los Andes. Her hair is part of her emancipation and freedom, after a childhood spent straightening it, to look more European and white according to her mother, of German origin, while her father is indigenous.

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Follow the example

Collage from archival images selected with Maria Ines and printed in cianotype. On the left, image of the evangelical pastor reading the Bible at his wedding. On the right, Maria Ines as a child, running. (The prints are not the final prints due to costs and access to cotton paper)
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The two books that marked a before and after in the life of Maria Ines, and her emancipation, and that she still keeps today in her library.

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The butterfly. A tattoo on the right shoulder, but a symbol for María Ines. A process of intense transformation before hatching. Between joy and pain. The pink wig is another strong symbol, the one of the "Socorristas en red" all over Argentina, recognizable from afar in all feminist demonstrations.

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A dinner at Maria-Ines' house, to celebrate her retirement. Maria Ines, as a teacher trainer and feminist, is surrounded by young women from all walks of life. Some of them have a similar story to hers, a strict family and religious upbringing, and have been inspired by their elder sister and her journey

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"Nowadays, girls don't hesitate to jump into the water", says Maria Ines, on the banks of the lake. Figuratively and literally. On the shores of Lake Lacar, any promontory is transformed into a diving board, which is no longer the privilege of daring boys.

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When she began accompanying women in their desire to have an abortion in 2012, she wrote down their names, ages and dates on a loose leaf, not imagining that it would grow and fill pages and pages of future notebooks, like this one. The "Socorristas en red" have produced numerous statistics since their inception that shed light on the number of women having abortions by region, their profiles, their situations, contradicting the opposition that considers abortion as sporadic and a non-issue.

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Portrait of Maria-Ines, at night in the streets of San Martin de los Andes. "I don't need to have the green scarf on me". The green scarf is the symbol of the campaign for the legalization of abortion that every activist in Argentina wears. On the bag, in the hair, around the wrist, the ways of wearing it are numerous. Maria-Ines doesn't wear it because here in this small town, everyone knows who she is, what she thinks, and if a woman has a problem, she can come to her.

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One of the mountains around Lake Lacar. These trees are a symbolic expression of this green tide, which has not stopped growing in the most remote Argentine territories.

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Maria-Ines looks through the window of a shuttle on Lake Lacar.

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