In Latin America, street art is of major cultural relevance. The region’s traditions of social movements and revolution have allowed the form to give voice to otherwise unheard sectors of the population. Of course, not all street art is politically or socially-oriented in content, but it does often provide insight into specific objectives and ideals.
Nick MacWilliam from Sounds and Colours browsed the online store Amazon “to see what’s readily available for those who are interested in the subject of street art in Latin America.” He recommends 16 books on the subject, covering Haiti, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and more.
On the new online platform Populus.cl [es] citizens can learn about laws, vote on them and compare their choice with decisions made by members of Congress.
Citizens can answer questions on issues like health, internet and copyright, labor, culture, the environment, and more. The site provides background information to help users learn more about the law or citizen initiative. After they cast their vote, Populus shows users which legislators support or reject that particular issue.
“Do you support or reject Chileans voting from abroad?”
Sentidos Comunes [es] adds that the platform works “like a citizen thermometer so legislators can learn what people really think.”
Mariana Santos worked with the team behind this project as an ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow. Mariana says that “the goal was to tell this amazing story that completes 40 years in a way that would use all the talents in their team.”
She explains that this was an exercise to experiment different forms of storytelling “using all different kinds of media we had available: video, audio, text, pictures, illustrations, documents etc.”
Mariana adds that she wanted to train La Tercera journalists to work as a team, take advantage of their skills and “challenge the forms of narrative when online gives you so much opportunities to amaze your crowd.”
The result is an interactive storytelling experience available in Spanish and in English, and under a Creative Commons license [es].
Stop SIMCE [es] or (“Alto al SIMCE” in Spanish) is a campaign organized by a group of academics, teachers and students who want to put an end to the Education Quality Measurement System (SIMCE for its initials in Spanish), a standardized testing system used to evaluate Chilean students.
The group explains that the SIMCE ranks schools “in order to guide parents’ decisions about which schools are good or bad.” Furthermore, they argue that the system “has played a key role in preserving a market education system that governs Chilean education since the civic-military dictatorship (1973-1990).”
In the following video [es], scholar and researcher Cristián Bellei explains the role of the SIMCE in the “educational market”:
The result has been absolutely amazing – in just under a week 18,448 people have cast a total of 31,000+ votes. We’ve seen finalists create beautiful social media campaigns, adding calls-to-action to their websites and we’ve even heard of finalists flying to other cities to strengthen their leaderboard position.
Wytze De Haan in The Next Web (TNW) announces the winners of the Latin American Startup Awards in each category: Best Consumer Startup, Best B2B Startup, Best Investor, and Best co-founder(s).
Rock musicians have been smart: ‘rock star’ is one of the few jobs (we'd had to add non-Saxon public servants) where a loss of prestige means an increase of quotation. Almost for every other member of the human race, regardless of their profession, prestige, for some time now, is useful only to estimate the height where they will fall from.
Center-left coalition leader and former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet looks for a second Presidential term, focusing on themes of inequality, universal education, and tax reform. But have lessons been learned from the previous coalition terms?
This is how Upside Down World's Matthew Owens starts an extensive analysis on Michelle Bachelet's bid for the Chilean presidency in the 2014 elections.
From the Patagonia to Havana, hundreds of computer users across Latin America are choosing freedom over control by installing free software on their computers. On April 27th, groups of free software enthusiasts will be installing free software in dozens of cities across Latin America as part of FLISOL [es], the Latin American free software installation festival. More »
Desarrollando América Latina (Developing Latin America) has published a video summary of the regional hackathon DAL 2012, where 400 participants and 70 social experts developed 80 applications. Here [es] you can see Global Voices’ coverage of the event.
Eileen from the blog Bearshapedsphere writes about language learning and how native speakers can sometimes be insulting or “diminish the value of good performance by minimizing the effort that’s put into [learning their language].”
I’ve been [in Chile] for almost nine years. And yes, I speak [Spanish] well (though I still have an accent, and always will). But remember those people who have been here for a while and don’t speak (by their own admission) super well? They get hassled for not trying hard enough. But me? For speaking well, I get told “well, you’ve been here a long time.”
On January 23, 2013, an excerpt from the annual report of l'ACAT-France, A World of Torture 2013, makes a fresh assessment of the state of torture in the world [fr]:
“A report called A World of Torture in 2013, assesses torture practices that continue to be alarming, from Pakistan to Italy, by way of South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Bolivia. From authoritarian regimes to democratic countries, none are exempt from criticism on the topic. In 2013, torture remains as endemic, omnipresent and multi-faceted as ever”.
After the launching of the book “The Mapuche in Modern Chile” by doctor Joanna Crow, website Chileno presents an interview with the author and notes:
In the work, Dr Crow uses a range of sources including Mapuche testimony, academic texts, government documents, music and art, newspapers and parliamentary debate to describe the variety of lived experience of the Mapuche and aims to take the reader beyond a simple narrative of repression and resistance.
On an article originally published on the Chileno website, political analyst Patricio Zamorano reflects on the turbulent term of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and summarizes crucial moments of his admnistration, such as the student reform movement, by saying:
The student reform movement and the activism of hundreds of thousands of young people has lead to a new wave of political leaders who, despite their youth, have started political careers to be elected to the Chilean Congress, amongst them Camila Vallejo, Giorgio Jackson and Camilo Ballesteros.
From Peru, Global Voices author Juan Arellano posts on his own blog Globalizado [es] pictures of the start of the 2013 Dakar Rally in Lima, as well as links to other posts and articles related to this sports event.
After listing many reasons why Chile hurts, the author ends addressing Violeta Parra herself, telling her “don’t worry, my dear Violeta”, for her songs remain and reviews the most important titles by Parra.
Remembering his school days, Tomas Bradanovic [es] writes on his self-named blog “at elementary school, the last day of school year was the occasion for commiting any kind of mischievousness because there was no point for us to be sent to the principal's office”. Then, he reviews his own 2012 events and ends his post saying “goodbye 2012, wonderful year, where my worst nightmares were solved”.
The recently released Free Software Assessment Report 2012 shows the opinion, assessment and preferences of more than 5,000 people from Spain and Latin America. The study published in its fourth edition is promoted by PortalProgramas and supported by a number of experts and collaborators [es]. The report aims to contribute to a better understanding, use and dissemination of free software in Latin America. The summary of the study can be accessed online [es] and more information can be found on the report's conclusions for 2012 [es].
In indigenous online newspaper Azkintuwe [es], Pedro Cayuqueo [es] points out that 9 Mapuche mayors and over 30 Mapuche councilmembers were elected in the October 28 municipal elections in Chile. Cayuqueo argues that this big win means several important things, for example:
Far from the “violent” and “anti-system” caricature, the Mapuche have shown their commitment to the institutional paths and an exemplary civic behavior.
Last night's municipal elections were unusually interesting. First, they took place in the context of social unrest and mobilization. Second, polls aside, they were a real test of the government's popularity. Third, they were the first elections to take place under a new system of automatic registration and voluntary voting.
Robert L. Funk analyzes Chile's municipal elections, which were held on Sunday, October 28, 2012.