Stories from Quick Reads and Latin America
As an alternative event during the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP20), with the aim of discussing solutions to reverse climate change, Lima, Peru will host another space for reflection about this issue: the Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change. Unlike COP20, this summit is made up of thousands of young people and individuals belonging to social organizations, trade unions, indigenous communities and rural groups.
The People's Summit on Climate Change defines this phenomenon as a direct consequence of the capitalist system, especially the role of providers of commodities the system has given Latin American countries.
Damián Profeta, an Argentinean journalist who is attending both events, sums up the approach of the People's Summit:
Para los participantes de la Cumbre de los Pueblos, el calentamiento global es intrínseco al sistema capitalista y la respuesta a ese problema debe ser cambiar los modos de producción y consumo. En variados discursos, los oradores apelaron a la “Madre Tierra”y repudiaron el extractivismo en los países latinoamericanos.
For People's Summit attendees, global warming is inherent to the capitalist system and the response to this problem should be changing the ways of producing and consuming. In several speeches, the lecturers appealed the “Mother Earth” and condemned the extractivie methods of the countries.
Where? Parque de la Exposición, Lima.
When? December 8-14, 2014.
For all those who won't be able to attend, you can follow the event on Facebook.
On his blog Blucasendel, Argentinian journalist Wenceslao Bottaro explores new ways of linking with tourism and other ways for communication and promotion of touristic attractions. This time, he graphically shows what you can find in front of the Main Square of the colonial Ciudad de los Reyes (City of Kings), as Peruvian capital city Lima was originally known.
Apenas entrar, la primera impresión es deslumbrante. Hay mucho para ver y asombrarse: los muebles, las colecciones de objetos, las escaleras, las lámparas, el patio. Todo lo que es madera está trabajado obsesivamente en los detalles.
De las paredes cuelgan pinturas, en las vitrinas se exhiben piezas de vajilla, documentos genealógicos y de la época de la Independencia. Lámparas de todo tipo se combinan con la luz del sol generando una extraña atmósfera en las habitaciones.
The minute you get in, the first impression is dazzling. There is a lot to see and to be astonished: the furniture, the collections, the stairways, the lamps, the courtyard. Every wooden article is obsessively carved in every single detail.
Paintings hang from the walls, glass cabinets showcase dishes, genealogic documents and from Independence period. All kinds of lamps are combined with sunlight, generating a rare atmospohere in the rooms.
Bottaro has also written about other place that's worth to visit in Lima's historic downtown. For instance, “the guard change at Presidential Palace; the Inquisition Museum; the historic Bar Cordano, and, especially if you are with children, to have fun with the Magic Circuit of Water“.
Shooting a good photography isn't a chance result, dedication is necessary, and above all, getting connected with the location.
GV contributor Laura Schneider offers us ten tips for taking the best photographies on our trips. Here we have some of them:
1- No te olvides de llevar la cámara, cargada y con suficiente memoria adicional.
5- Toma nota de las fotografías
8- Ahora o nunca
1- Don't forget to take the camera, loaded and with enough additional memory.
5- Take note of the photographies
7- Wake up early
8- Now or never
Laura also shares one experience of hers:
Recuerdo cuando fui a Kibera en Kenia, la segunda villa o slum mas grande de África quería fotos naturales, no posadas. Quería que la gente no se esconda con la cámara. Así que me puse una camiseta de fútbol de Argentina. Los niños que había en el lugar se acercaban y me decían: Maradona o Messi y eso me permitía entrar en conversación.
I remember when I went to Kibera in Kenya, the second biggest slum in Africa, I wanted natural photos, not posed ones. I didn't want people hiding with the camera. So I wore an Argentinian football T-shirt. The children there approached me saying Maradona or Messi, and that allowed me to make conversation.
You can follow Laura on Twitter.
Mexican artist Michelle Solano has composed “Grito de Guerra,” a song set to the rhythm of cumbia that intends to raise funds to support the family of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa Normal School students, who disappeared on September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero state, Mexico.
According to TV network CNN, the students were intercepted and taken away by police forces at the behest of the local mayor, and had set members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel on the abducted students. In the ensuing clash, six people were killed and 25 were injured, with 43 others remain missing.
Global Voices has dedicated special coverage to the Ayotzinapa case.
Raúl Morales, blogging on El Blog de Don Ush, brings us a review of recently launched science fiction movie “Interstellar,” where director Christopher Nolan creates a non-encouraging future for the planet that can only be overcame if human beings defeat the prevailing ignorance. Although Morales is critic of box-office earnings and the action plot of the movie, he highlights that this is how the world will be if we go on just as we are:
Me gustan los mundos distópicos, en particular los que tratan de mostrar cómo sería el nuestro si seguimos como vamos. No lo dicen con claridad en la película, pero es obvio que hubo algún tipo de cataclismo que jodió a la Tierra, sin duda el calentamiento global. En segundo lugar, la película da un ejemplo claro de uno de los elementos más graves que nos orillan a ese nivel de autodestrucción: la ignorancia científica.
I like dystopian worlds, particularly those who try to show how would ours be if we go on as we are going. The movie isn't clear about it, but it's obvious there was some kind of natural catastrophe that screwed the Earth, undoubtedly the global warming. In second place, the film is a clear example of one of the most serious that pushes us to that level of self-destruction: scientific ignorance.
Ahí algunas de las razones por las que me gustó Interstellar. Un día los viajes espaciales a otros planetas podrían ser tan cotidianos como viajar en avión a otros continentes. Ese futuro solo será posible si no nos matamos entre nosotros y, por tanto, si superamos la ignorancia que conduce tantas de nuestras acciones.
There are some of the reasons why I liked Interstellar. Some day, travelling to other planets could be so frequent as taking a plane to other continents. That future will be possible only if we don't kill each other and, therefore, if we overcome the ignorance that leads so many of our actions.
According to Morales, Nolan uses science fiction as a lens to view different possible worlds.
You can follow Raúl Morales on Twitter.
From Merida, Andres Mayorquín reflects on the sentimients of Mexicans once they have been part of the marches for the disappearance of student teachers. Some ot them are already tired and they wonder if ti's worth it to take the streets. The mistrustful ones want Mexicans stop protesting and use their time “to work harder, to stop giving bribes, to respect others’ liberty or be more productive, to stop the whining”.
The opposite is no longer enough in Mexico, concludes Marroquín. Three proposals to this question: “What shall we expect or do with all this movement unleashed after the disappearance of the teacher students that ended up representing all the disappeared, murdered, kidnapped and attacked of the country?”:
Primero que nada, negarnos radicalmente a la violencia… La mayoría no queremos más agresión, queremos paz, queremos encontrar mejores formas de relacionarnos unos con otros en nuestra sociedad diversa y queremos justicia, que respete la dignidad de cada uno de nosotros.
Tercero, desarrollar una propuesta concreta…una legislación sobre la revocación de mandato, la formación de una Comisión de la Verdad, hacer obligatorias y públicas las declaraciones patrimoniales de los servidores públicos y sus familiares, facilitar los requisitos de las candidaturas independientes, una regulación sobre los legisladores plurinominales.
First of all, we radically reject violence… Most of us don't want more aggression, we want peace, we want to look for better ways of relating with each other in our diverse society and we want justice, they the dignity each of use deserves might be respected.
Third, elaborate a concrete proposal… a legislation about power revocation, the formation of a Truth Commission, make wealth declarations mandatory and public for pubilc servants and their family members, make easier for independent candidates to run for office, a regulation about multi-member legislators.
Indigenous people from the Munduruku ethnic group are fighting against the construction of the São Luiz do Tapajós dam in the state of Pará, Brazil. The dam will mean the flooding of 700,000 km2 in their homeland.
The Brazilian Federal Government plans to build up to five dams in the Tapajós River, where dozens of indigenous communities live. Together with São Luiz do Tapajós, the Jatobá dam was due to begin construction in 2015, but socio-environmental difficulties may have postponed that deadline to at least 2020. The two dams will cost together US$7 billion.
The Munduruku claim they have not been consulted about the project. For years, the Munduruku people from the Sawré Maybu community, which will be directly affected by the construction of São Luiz do Tapajós dam, have pressured the federal government to demarcate their lands. The demarcation would create a legal obstacle for the continuation of the dam's project.
A documentary about the issue was produced by videomaker Nayana Fernandez.
UPDATE 09/12/2014: Together with other organizations, Nayana Fernandez has launched a crowfunding campaign to help the Munduruku pressure the government to demarcate their territory, officialize two associations, build a website and translate and dub the documentary into their native language (most Mundurku people do not speak Portuguese). Supporters can contribute with a minimum of US$10.
The blog MujeresMundi is an infoactivism project run by Belgium-based Peruvian Xaviera Medina “committed to gender as a key to development”.
[...] Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that Malala is not an isolated case. Education is not an inherent right for girls in many countries, and every day, hundreds of Malalas are threatened for attending to school.
The 2014 Nobel must remind us that Malala Yousafzai is not an anecdotic case, but a everyday reality of thousands of youngster and children around the world.
Vero Flores Desentis, blogging for Mujeres Construyendo (Women Building), reflects on Internet users’ behavior regarding the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa and rubs salt in the wound of those of us who use cyberspace for worthy causes, and calls us to an in-depth examination of our conscience: are denouncing and indignation on the Internet enough to make a change or do they just represent a simple catharsis? Thus, the author points out the duality of Internet denunciation regarding the events in Ayotzinapa:
Creo que es un tema que duele a la sociedad, y duele mucho. Lo que me sorprende es la dualidad de la denuncia social. Por un lado, cada vez tenemos más acceso a plataformas que nos sirven para denunciar o para establecer públicamente algún posicionamiento frente a un tema, y cada vez somos más las personas que las utilizamos. Y estas denuncias son una herramienta muy poderosa de denuncia social sin duda. Pero por otro, la denuncia ahí se queda, no hay un eco de ejecución que realmente ayude a disminuir los casos que lamentablemente siguen sucediendo.
I think this is something that hurts society. What amazes me is the duality of social denunciation. On one hand, each time we have more access to platforms that allow us to denounce or set publicly some position about a given topic, and each time more people use them. And these condemnations are a very powerful tool for social denunciation. Burt on the other hand, the denounce just stays there, there is no echo of carrying out that really helps reducing the cases that, unfortunately, keep coming.
Vero adds that just as in other disturbing cases, social networks channel our outrage about Ayotzinapa, although making it public doesn't change the situation. To change something, we must act outside the cybernetic world, changing our actions.
You can follow Vero Flores Desentis on Twitter.
During the economic and political crisis in Argentina in 2001, people shouted in the streets, “Go to hell, everyone (rulers)!” More than a decade after these events, this popular cry was transformed into a digital tool that allows voters to learn about the political background of their candidates. On Infoactivismo, there is a piece about the project Cargografías (roughly translated as Position-ography):
El objetivo es brindar información a la ciudadanía para la toma de decisiones durante periodos electorales y ser un recurso de utilidad para periodistas e investigadores, quienes a partir de la herramienta podrán construir sus propias historias y apoyar sus proyectos de investigación.
The aim is to give information to the constituency for decision making during election periods and serve as a useful resource for journalists and researchers, who will be able to build their own stories and support their investigation projects using the tool.
The tool allows to analyze the political career of public officers in the last 30 years and document situations that might not be found in a regular Internet search.
Project founder Andrés Snitcofsky explains his intention was to show that many officers who were in office in 2001 are still there in spite of people's complaints. Although the information already existed, until now it wasn't collected in one place. So, Cargografías began with a Google Doc and a group of friends who organized the available information that was available on their own time. That database is now available on Popit.