Sunday, 21 September 2008

Cultural Sunday

Here's a mix of cultural productions dealing with subjects relevant to this blog which turned up on my trawl through the weekend media.

Amnesty International have enlisted the help of UK celebrities for their latest campaign, and you can see a slideshow here:
Protect the Human (Guardian)

"For my generation, there were two defining historical phenomena: State terrorism, and the Falklands. While the first has found its place as the subject of art and public discussion, I always had the impression that the topic of the war was repressed. Not so much the fact that it was produced by dictatorship (the focus which texts usually take; strangely, it has been written about much more than it has been discussed socially), but what happened to those who that situation exposed to the naked experience of war. I was interested in transgressing this vague, but at the same time very harsh generalisation 'the boys from the war' - which reduced all these persons to one, negating their identity, in the same way as often happens, with the inhabitants of the indigenous towns. On the other hand, what boys? There are no boys in a war. That's why I made portraits: the image of a face, accompanied by a name and a date of birth, gives, and in this case gives back, an identity."

Juan Travnik has an exhibition of photographs of veterans from the Malvinas conflict (that's the Falkland Islands, to English speakers) on show at the Centro Cultural in Recoleta, Buenos Aires. Those not in the area can see his website and read Pagina/12's review of the exhibition:
La guerra es un lugar en la memoria

"Maybe we aren't aware, today, of the impact it had. But the intersection between a group of artists who managed to connect with a multitude to fill the city with figures which alluded to the kidnapped people - and this was during the dictatorship! - must still be emphasised as a milestone in the relationship between art and popular mobilisation."

Today is also the 25th anniversary of the silhouetazo, the "big silhouette", a publicity event organised by the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo who drew attention to their disappeared children by placing lfe-size cutouts of people around Buenos Aires, symbolising the missing. To mark the occasion, Ana Longoni (cited above) and Gustavo Bruzzone have brought out a book (El siluetazo/The Silhouette, Editorial Adriana Hidalgo, 2008), the cover of which can be seen to the left, and Pagina/12 have published an article:
Cuando la resistencia es una forma de arte

In Chile, Juan Vasquez has brought out a comic dealing with the dictatorship:
El comic de Pinochet (Ciudad)

"This film isn't about good guys and bad guys, but about human beings who fight for what they believe is right, within a particular context: the civil conflict in Peru."

Finally, La Republica reports on a Peruvian film, Vidas Parallelas, which deals with the conflict with the Shining Path. The involvement of the armed forces in the film has been controversial, with some accusing it of being biased towards them (bearing in mind, they were responsible for almost half the civilian deaths which occurred). Its director, Rocío Lladó (cited above) denies this.
Da la paz a la guerra en Vidas paralelas

An example of criticism towards the film can be seen here (in Spanish).

Here's a trailer, which sadly it won't let me embed.

All translations mine, as usual.

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