Category: The Other Venezuela: Art and Literature

The Power of Music: Venezuelan Seeds in Boston

At the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), I have had the wonderful opportunity to complete a concentration in Music-in-Education. During my first internship I worked on a research project that involved observations and surveys of children, teachers, and parents from two schools in Venezuela that place music at the core of their curriculum. The results were amazing; the participants reported overwhelmingly that the …

Bilingual: The Revolution of Conscience: Building a New Cultural Hegemony in Venezuela

English + EspañolThe exact nature and implementation of the Bolivarian revolution’s cultural policy has lately been an obsessive and controversial issue in Venezuela. In the pre-Chávez period, public cultural administration was defined as state support for film, fine arts, traditional arts and folklore. As the major city in a country with few developed urban centers, Caracas was heavily favored by the oil boom and hosted ,,,

Bilingual: Postales de Leningrado: A Scene from New Venezuelan Film

English + EspañolThe 2007 Venezuelan film “Postales de Leningrado”—postcards from Leningrad—mingles history and politics to pose a question about identity—the identity of the children of those men and women who opted to join the guerrilla struggle in Venezuela in the mid-20th century, just when the nation was trying to reestablish democracy after the Marcos Pérez Jiménez dictatorship (1952-1958). Venezuelan …

Meditations on Venezuelan Culture Today: Living with Contradictions

As a Venezuelan, I can’t pretend that the nation has experienced idyllic moments at some point in our history. We Venezuelans also can’t deny that, in spite of many dark clouds, an accumulation of exasperation and disillusionment, a rash of tragedies and bitter pain suffered by our civic body—the incessant failure of the Venezuelan civilist impulse in the face of a country that is infrareal—we managed to arrive at a moment of …

Plan Caracas, 1974-1976 (revisited)

Densely populated shantytowns grow organically in the hills around Caracas. But I don’t practice sociological tourism. This text is more about the self-explanations of a Caracas-born son of immigrants. Immigration in this sense can be seen as a slower and more pragmatic form of tourism. My parents’ families arrived to Caracas between the 30s and the 50s, when global populations were reacting to the convulsion generated by …

Culture in Caracas: The New Institutions of Bolivarian Venezuela

In 2002, I visited Venezuela with a friend from Mexico City. Among the tourist attractions in Caracas that I took him to see was the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofía Imber (known since 2006 as the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas or MACC). I had often sang the praises of this venerable institution, one of the first museums in Latin America to focus on postwar art and which included in its collection works by Picasso …

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