Tag Archives: art

Chilean Popular Poetry and Biblical Psalms

Martinez, Chile, Santiago Figueroa

Santiago Figueroa. Folklorist, researcher and expert in popular music.

by Fernanda Martinez Varela, MA scholar at MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish. 

Shortly after arriving in Chile, I went to the public library of Doñihue in order to search for bibliographic material and, fortunately, there I met Santiago Figueroa Torres; a folklorist, researcher and expert in popular music. Talking informally while drinking coffee, I explained to him my thoughts about this investigation and he gave me his vision as an expert on the subject. Consequently, aided by this chance, his insights have served me as a guide for reading the bibliographic material found and redefining my research question.

What similarities exist between the Cantus to the divine cultivated in Chile and the Christian psalms in the Latin American version of the Catholic Bible? This is the question the present research will try to answer. For this purpose, in addition to ponder on some similarities, I will analyze and contrast two songs by the Chilean musician Violeta Parra (Maldigo del alto cielo and Volver a los 17) with the psalms 143 and 148.

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‘Proximities/Distances’: Theatre, Performance, and Dance Conference

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Creators and performers from all over Latin America and Spain will converge at the King Juan Carlos Center (KJCC) next week for ‘Proximities/Distances’, a two-day event that will explore ideas and practices of proximity and distance in contemporary Spanish and Latin American theatre, performance and dance.

Drawing on the current interest in relational strategies and investigating the connections between art and audiences, the aesthetic and the socio-political, it will examine a diverse range of dramaturgies that bring these different media into contact.

The event is curated by Cristina Colmena (PhD Candidate, NYU Spanish Department) and Ana Sánchez Acevedo (PhD Candidate, CUNY Graduate Center). Participants will include La Phármaco (Spain), MAPA Teatro (Colombia), Íntegro (Peru), Claudio Tolcachir (Argentina), Daniel Salguero (Colombia), Pablo Remón (Spain), Alejandro Moreno (Chile), Arantxa Araujo (Mexico), David Espinosa (Spain), and more.

Please join us Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28 at the KJCC Auditorium for this wonderful gathering of Latin American and Spanish creators and performers!

CLACS Welcomes Chilean Author José Ignacio Valenzuela in First U.S. Book Tour Presenting ‘Trilogía del Malamor y Malaluna’

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The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) in collaboration with the Embassy of Chile proudly invites you to join author José Ignacio Valenzuela in his first U.S. tour presenting Trilogy Malamor and its prequel Malaluna on Monday, September 26th at the KJCC Auditorium.

Trilogía del Malamor is a wildly successful trilogy by José Ignacio Valenzuela and is considered the first fantasy series of Latin America. Composed of the books “Hasta el fin del mundo”, “La raíz del mal” and “El árbol de la vida,” this wonderful series full of adventure, romance, enigmas and suspense delights and surprises readers with endearing characters and an unexpected ending. Set in the small mysterious town of Almahue, meaning “place of phantoms” in the Mapuche language, at the edge of the cold sea of Patagonia, it is a place where magic and fantasy abounds and where the desire to love can kill.

Malaluna is a prequel to the series released at the end of last year. Since its release it has captivated fans and new readers by recounting the previous and unknown story of the characters that give life to the Malamor saga. Valenzuela recently sold the film rights to the trilogy, so a film version of this magical story is pending.

José Ignacio Valenzuela has a vast career as an author and screenwriter for film and television in Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States. He has published a number of novels and short fiction, and has also served as professor and instructor of creative writing.

CLACS has also invited Ángeles Donoso Macaya, Associate Professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College and expert in contemporary Latin American literature, and Chilean author Carlos Labbé. The panelists will discuss the writing of the trilogy, its reception in Latin America, the upcoming films, and more generally, the development of contemporary young adult literature in the region.

The books of the Malamor trilogy will be on sale at the event. The event will be held in Spanish and it is free and open to the public.

Please join CLACS and the Embassy of Chile in celebrating Chilean literature and José Ignacio Valenzuela’s work by joining us on September 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the KJCC Auditorium.

 

Seeing the Change: La Fábrica in Havana

Posted by Nicki Fleischner- MA Candidate at CLACS/ Global Journalism at NYU 

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Kevin, a 24 year-old design student, checking out the skateboard exhibition at La Fábrica.

When we arrived there is already a line snaking its way around the block: Cuban girls in heels, boys in gold chains and brightly printed graphic tees, foreign tourists or exchange students sprinkled throughout. At the door a few groups try to grease the impressively built bouncers. Some people are successful just by dropping the right name, or flashing their Biennial art festival badges—available only to those (mostly foreign tour groups) who paid for them ahead of time. It’s the Biennial’s opening night at La Fábrica in Havana, and as several people have emphasized to me, it is the place to be.

I always knew I wanted to do my fieldwork in Havana. Following President Raúl Castro’s economic reforms in 2010 and then President Barack Obama’s decision to renew diplomatic relations with the country last December (and the slew of media hype that has followed), it feels like the right time to be here; a time when Cuba is on the brink of transformation (or not at all, as many of my more cynical Cuban friends will tell me). Leaving for Havana on my direct flight from New York (another change) the check-in line filled with American tour groups headed to Havana’s 12th Biennial— an international art festival that takes place in the city from late May through June—it did feel different, and that an opening up (and commercialization) is actually happening. Now in Havana it is my goal to assess what the “changes” we read about have tangibly resulted in for Cuba’s younger generation: does it impact their daily lives, their aspirations for the future, their conception of themselves?

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Qelqakamayoq Wari Zarate Artenkunamanta Riman

Ayacucho Artist Amauta Huamanga Quechua Wari Musica Pintor Zarate Qelqakamayoq Ayacuchomanta Junio killapi, 2013 watapi, Doris Loayza investigacionninta ruwashaqtin Huamanga llaqtapi, Perupi, qelqakamayoq Wari Zaratewan tuparan. Pay pintor, yachachiq ima kan Escuela de Bellas Artespi Huamanga llaqtapi. Chaypi pay pinturata, esculturata, dibujota ima yachachin. Kunan pay huk librota qelqashan. Kay libroqa rimanqa: imaynatachus colores nisqakunata, muhuta, laqhekunata ima kay pacha kawsayninchispi mana chinkananpaq kawsarichispa. Pachamancata mihuyta tukuspa, Doris, Wari ima rimaranku.

En Junio de 2013, Doris Loayza se encontraba realizando su investigación de campo en la ciudad de Huamaga, Ayacucho-Perú, donde me encontré con el pintor Wari Zarate. Actualmente es professor de la Escuela de Bellas Artes de Huamanga donde enseña pintura, escultura, dibujo y otros. Escribe un libro sobre la recuperación y uso de colores naturales de hojas y semillas nativas de la zona. Esta entrevista se llevó a cabo luego de una suculenta pachamanca como almuerzo.

In June 2013, Doris pursued my field research in Huamanga city, Ayacucho-Peru where she met a painter Wari Zarate. Currently he works at the Escuela de Bellas Artes Huamanga where he teachs paiting, sculpture, drawing, etc. He is writing a book about tradicional colors made from native plants and seed of the region. This interview was made after a delicious pachamanca meal.


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Cuba entering the 21st Century: Recent Economic Reforms can be seen from the Street

A small business offering cell phone repair and other services

A small business in Havana offering cell phone repair and other services

This summer I came to Cuba to research the emergence of non-institutional art spaces in the city of Havana.  As I began to make contact with local artists to discuss where they create, show and sell their art, I quickly discovered that modes of communication had drastically changed since the last time I had studied abroad in Cuba in 2008.

Although cell phones continue to be expensive for the average Cuban, most independent artists that I have interviewed thus far use cell phones as their primary form of communication. And they are astonished when they find out that I do not have a working cell phone while I am in Cuba (My cell phone carrier does not use SIM cards, and American cell phone service does not work in Cuba). Over these last two weeks, even amidst research focused on art spaces, I have witnessed how the recent economic reforms have made significant strides to bring the informal market, including cell phones, back into the fold of the formal sector, in an effort to address the modern-day demands of the Cuban people. Continue reading

Colombian Refugees in Panama: Politics and Policy

Corgan - Panama - Mural

SJR uses art projects like this mural depicting the stages of displacement as a form of therapy for many of its refugee clients.

On a wall in the office of Jesuit Refugee Service – Panama (Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados, SJR) hangs a mural, painted by SJR’s clients, depicting their journey from violent displacement in Colombia to relative safety and self-sufficiency in Panama. The mural synthesizes the stories of hundreds of SJR’s clients – refugees, asylum seekers, and the like – and serves as an expression of the human consequences of the armed conflict in Colombia.

No one knows precisely how many refugees are living in Panama today. A January 2013 estimate by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) placed the number at just over 17,000, but the agency readily admits the reality could be quite different. In recent years, other human rights organizations have estimated the number could be as high as 75,000.

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