While the Taller de Paz group was preparing for the program last week, we got glimpse of some very interesting things:
On Thursday of last week, while pasiando around La Candelaria (Center City) we bumped into famous Colombia painter Fernando Botero’s museum. The museum, which used to be una casa colonial, has a a very large collection of Botero’s famous paintings. There are many different views on Botero’s purpose, such as using obesity to mock the rich and powerful. However, when I look at these paintings I see defiance. Defiance of the structures that are rooted in art and in society about the meaning of beauty. For example, in the following picture,
Botero gives this “gorda” a very sexual appeal, as implied by the fruit, the powerful colors, the whip (I like to believe its a whip), and the naked body of this woman.
2. Colonial Structure
Colombia, at least in Bogota, has kept some of the colonial organization left by the Spanish. This is best demonstrated by the continued importance of the “Plazas”. The following
These plazas were supposed to be the center of town, where government and administrative buildings are found, as well as well the towns church and schools.
Oh, and in the Plaza de Simon Bolivar (Bogota’s main plaza), you are bound to get attacked by pigeons.
3. La Primera Maravilla de Colombia
Last week on Father’s Day, the group, along with my family members, took a now tren turista, to go to Zipaquira. In Zipaquira, the famous salt mining town of Colombia, the group descended to the famous “Salt Cathedral” of Colombia. Voted, Colombia’s First Wonder, the cathedral is simply breathtaking, even for the non-religious. And yes, it is all made out of salt. Just lick the floor and walls!
4. Los NO Uribistas:
And now, for some political analysis. After almost seven years since President Uribe came to power, many readings on Colombia, and a Latin American Politics class, and I still have not decided if I am Uribista, leaning towards no. President Uribe is praised for his firm hand against the guerrilla movement, the drug war, and for making Colombia safer. Nevertheless, many things get missed from this analysis. During Uribe’s administration, the displacement crisis in Colombia has significantly increased (making Colombia the country with the most critical internal displacement crisis in the world), drug trafficking and production has also increased. Thus, yes its true that the guerrilla crisis is under more control, but at the cost of many innocent lives. That is the lives of farmworkers and villagers.
So, while talking with one of my Taller de Paz colleagues, Sandra, who is from Colombia. She made me realize the in fact Uribe has made Colombia safe. But, not safe for all. Safe for those who have money and live in the cities.
5. To leave on a good note. Here is more amazing Colombian food, yes, espero que se pongan celosos.
Patacon, con carne y aguacate.
Crepes and Waffles: Cheese and Mushroom Creppe
Two Golden Buñuelos
And some miscellianous pictures: