La nación clandestina

27 07 2011

The masterpiece of Bolivian filmmaker, Jorge Sanjinés. In this film, modernity and the traditional ways of the Aymara Indians in Bolivia clash and intermingle, creating a film that, while centered around one Aymara exile in La Paz, has as its real protagonist the Aymara people themselves. Sanjinés says that his film sought to deconstruct the idea of the modern narrative centering around the personal drama of one man. His film is rather about how one man has to overcome himself in order to re-integrate into the being of the community. In this case, his re-entrance into the community is only possible through a ritual in which he dances himself to death. In his walk back to the village, one sees the turmoil emerging all around him, and how his fate is indeed the fate of the entire, hidden nation. This film is about another, very different reaction towards modernity than the one we are accustomed to seeing, and the film can be found in its entirety on Youtube and in other places around the Net.

Many would also be interested in another Sanjinés film called Yawar Malku or Blood of the Condor, which is about forced sterilizations by Americans in an Aymara village. It basically ends (spoiler alert) by the indigeous people castrating the Americans in return (it is not shown, but the viewer well knows what happens). The feel-good, pro-life film of the year if you ask me.





San Honesto

2 05 2011

A totally made-up “folk saint” whose story can be found here.





Two approaches towards American imperialism

14 04 2011

I found this guy’s approach oddly refreshing, in a masochistic sort of way. Hey, other people are thinking it, this guy just says it allowed.

The latter film is all about what Zizek would call the contradictions of the “new politics”, or rather a claim to lack politics altogether. A bunch of slick American neoliberal technocrats try to install one of their own again into a crisis situation, with the “best of intentions” of course. And people get mad at the gringo hijo de puta and send him packing. Money, cynicism, and liberal ideas are portrayed side by side working for what is “best for the country” (and American imperialism, incidentally). No wonder they elected Evo Morales, even if he is a problematic figure.





Las alturas de Macchu Picchu

5 04 2011

Sube a nacer conmigo, hermano.
Dame la mano desde la profunda
zona de tu dolor diseminado.
No volverás del fondo de las rocas.
No volverás del tiempo subterráneo.
No volverá tu voz endurecida.
No volverán tus ojos taladrados.
Mírame desde el fondo de la tierra,
labrador, tejedor, pastor callado:
domador de guanacos tutelares:
albañil del andamio desafiado:
aguador de las lágrimas andinas:
joyero de los dedos machacados:
agricultor temblando en la semilla:
alfarero en tu greda derramado:
traed a la copa de esta nueva vida
vuestros viejos dolores enterrados.
Mostradme vuestra sangre y vuestro surco,
decidme: aquí fui castigado,

porque la joya no brilló o la tierra
no entregó a tiempo la piedra o el grano:
señaladme la piedra en que caísteis
y la madera en que os crucificaron,
encendedme los viejos pedernales,
las viejas lámparas, los látigos pegados
a través de los siglos en las llagas
y las hachas de brillo ensangrentado.
Yo vengo a hablar por vuestra boca muerta.
A través de la tierra juntad todos
los silenciosos labios derramados
y desde el fondo habladme toda esta larga noche
como si yo estuviera con vosotros anclado,
contadme todo, cadena a cadena,
eslabón a eslabón, y paso a paso,
afilad los cuchillos que guardasteis,
ponedlos en mi pecho y en mi mano,
como un río de rayos amarillos,
como un río de tigres enterrados,
y dejadme llorar, horas, días, años,
edades ciegas, siglos estelares.

Dadme el silencio, el agua, la esperanza.

Dadme la lucha, el hierro, los volcanes.

Apegadme los cuerpos como imanes.

Acudid a mis venas y a mi boca,

Hablad por mis palabras y mi sangre.

-Pablo Neruda





El mal de ojo – II

1 03 2011

This video is from Ecuador, but it applies to Mexico as well. When I say Catholicism in Latin America is “90% spiritist”, this is sort of what I am getting at. All Mexican and other Latin American families have their own stories concerning this phenomenon.

Here is a link of a short film on the evil eye in the Mexican context.





Todas íbamos a ser reinas

15 02 2011

Todas íbamos a ser reinas,
de cuatro reinos sobre el mar:
Rosalía con Efigenia
y Lucila con Soledad.

En el valle de Elqui, ceñido
de cien montañas o de más,
que como ofrendas o tributos
arden en rojo y azafrán.

Lo decíamos embriagadas,
y lo tuvimos por verdad,
que seríamos todas reinas
y llegaríamos al mar.

Con las trenzas de los siete años,
y batas claras de percal,
persiguiendo tordos huidos
en la sombra del higueral.

De los cuatro reinos, decíamos,
indudables como el Korán,
que por grandes y por cabales
alcanzarían hasta el mar.

Cuatro esposos desposarían,
por el tiempo de desposar,
y eran reyes y cantadores
como David, rey de Judá.

Y de ser grandes nuestros reinos,
ellos tendrían, sin faltar,
mares verdes, mares de algas,
y el ave loca del faisán.

Y de tener todos los frutos,
árbol de leche, árbol del pan,
el guayacán no cortaríamos
ni morderíamos metal.

Todas íbamos a ser reinas,
y de verídico reinar;
pero ninguna ha sido reina
ni en Arauco ni en Copán…

Rosalía besó marino
ya desposado con el mar,
y al besador, en las Guaitecas,
se lo comió la tempestad.

Soledad crió siete hermanos
y su sangre dejó en su pan,
y sus ojos quedaron negros
de no haber visto nunca el mar.

En las viñas de Montegrande,
con su puro seno candeal,
mece los hijos de otras reinas
y los suyos nunca-jamás.

Efigenia cruzó extranjero
en las rutas, y sin hablar,
le siguió, sin saberle nombre,
porque el hombre parece el mar.

Y Lucila, que hablaba a río,
a montaña y cañaveral,
en las lunas de la locura
recibió reino de verdad.

En las nubes contó diez hijos
y en los salares su reinar,
en los ríos ha visto esposos
y su manto en la tempestad.

Pero en el valle de Elqui, donde
son cien montañas o son más,
cantan las otras que vinieron
y las que vienen cantarán:

-“En la tierra seremos reinas,
y de verídico reinar,
y siendo grandes nuestros reinos,
llegaremos todas al mar.”

-Gabriela Mistral





Latin American Spiritism in context

14 02 2011

One could make the argument that the soul of religiosity in Latin America is ten percent Catholic and ninety percent Spiritist. That is an exaggeration to be sure, but it can go far in explaining the shape of Catholicism as it has developed in the past two hundred years. Raquel Romberg’s book, Witchcraft and Welfare: Spiritual Capital and the Business of Magic in Modern Puerto Rico, concerns the development of modern religious consciousness in the face of an emerging capitalist economy and its accompanying state. Romberg shows how witchcraft, espiritismo, and brujería, have all been grafted into contemporary conditions of life on all socio-economic levels. These practices are both preserving traditional spirituality and transforming themselves to meet the needs of believers in a constantly changing society.
Read the rest of this entry »





Ekeko

8 02 2011

In the mythology and folklore of Bolivia and northern Argentina Ekeko is a fortune bearer god that has not lost prestige. It is used to offer him banknotes and/or coins to obtain money, grains for a good harvest, and some food to ensure prosperity in general. Ekeko is also known in other zones of Argentina due to immigration and internal migrations, but there his followers, who adopted him as a superstition more than as a folkloric deity, consider him as some kind of beneficent patron.

In art he is depicted as a man, wearing traditional Bolivian clothes (especially the cap) and carrying bags and baskets with grain and food (compare with the cornucopia of some Greco-Roman deities); he is commonly found as a little statue to be put in some place of the house, preferably a comfortable one, but also as an amulet holding from key rings; modern statues of the god include a circular opening in his mouth to place there a cigarette (better if lit) for Ekeko’s pleasure.

Source





Spiritism – the other white meat

20 10 2010

Found this by chance on Youtube





On the dialectical nature of modern Catholicism

17 08 2010

And notes on modern Pentecostalism

Catholic Dissent – When wrong turns out to be right

Murray was clearly shaken by this clear message to cease and desist. The following year he suffered a heart attack, but after recovery he continued to develop his theory.

By 1954 the Vatican’s patience had been exhausted. A Roman censor forbade the publication of an article that Murray had written and considered crucial to his case. Murray’s Jesuit superior ordered him to cease writing on the subject. When Murray inquired what he could write about, the superior said he might consider poetry…

Armed with all his scholarship, he publicly debated the issues with Fenton and Ottaviani and became a major drafter of the council’s Declaration on Human Freedom. In its final form, approved in a vote by the world’s bishops, 2,308 to 80, in 1965, the declaration said, “This synod declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals, social groups, or any human power . . . This synod further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person, as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and reason itself.” The words reflect Murray’s thinking and may very well have been written by him.
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