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The female soldier – the Republic

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The female soldier – the Republic

Gotland Island.  Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

Gotland Island. Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

This female soldier practices on the Swedish island of Gotland. National Guard troops have been recalled for a special exercise. War has no woman’s face, writes Svetlana Aleksievi?, to which I often return. Conflicts have a history written in the masculine. Made with masculine words. “They are silent – she writes – even those who have been at the front. Even if they suddenly begin to remember, they do not tell their ‘female’ war but the ‘male’ one. They adapt to the established canon. And only at home or, crying, in the circle of their veteran friends, do they begin to narrate their war. To reveal it. And it is an unknown war ”.

I can’t guess the moods, hopes and fears of this woman with the painted face. You if you are afraid you will one day have to participate in a real war. What do you think it means to be a female soldier in peacetime. Because I don’t know. But I don’t know what it means to be a soldier in a time of peace either. Being one in a time of war, she writes Aleksievi?, it becomes too personal a test. Personal but just as boundless as life itself.

And it tells of a female aviator who refused to give her an interview.

I can’t… I can’t remember.

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