Voices of Mexico no. 105

Our Voice

In a 1919 essay, Sigmund Freud said that individuals experience the uncanny (unheimlich) differently but that it can be defined as something terrifying, long familiar to us. In this short essay, I want to underline not aesthetic examples from fiction, which is what Freud alluded to, but rather the experience of the uncanny, and very especially, déjà vu, the anxiety we feel when confronted with the uncanny evoked by a return to something similar.

That is exactly what happened to us on September 19, 2017. Our memories of how our day-to-day existence was broken apart in the past century, a kind of urban legend for young people who had only heard their elders’ stories, were distant indeed. And every year for decades, we would more and more reluctantly attend earthquake drills, feeling that now what was breaking up our existence were the drills themselves.

The alarm sounds; the drill begins. And we don’t even take a moment to remember what we were doing at 7 in the morning that day in 1985.



Mexico City, September 19
Fist Held High, Hand in Hand

Sergio Rodríguez Blanco

Rebuilding through Art
Isabel Morales Quezada

Emotions in Color
Armando Fonseca, Hernán Gallo,
Amanda Mijangos, Gala Navarro, and
John Marceline