Blog November 28, 2012
Contemporary Colombian Treasure Chest!
In late September of this year, Sound and Colours (a consistently excellent web-magazine based in the UK) released Colombia, a book that compiles a wealth of writing (much of which first appeared in the web-magazine's digital pages) that covers Colombia in all its complex and extraordinary diversity. From exploratory articles about Colombian music, its history and influences across generations, to those covering the nation's booming film industry, the book takes a decidedly broad  approach, drawing connections between forms whose interpenetration is all too easily overlooked by medium specific inquiry. The scope of Colombia also goes beyond the arts, including case studies and analyses of politics, human rights, and social issues through a variety of angles, including everything from an academic piece on Pablo Escobar as a tourist attraction to the first person account of Danny, a Colombian who was enlisted with the FARC terrorist group before he escaped and was forced to move to Ecuador. The book also explores Colombian visual art and literature with–in the words of Sound and Colours, "...essays from Jose Rocá on modern art collective Populardelujo, José Sandoval Zapata’s personal portrait of visionary author and poet Andrés Caicedo, a selection of politically-motivated artworks from Humberto Junca Casas, and Lesley Wylie’s studies of William Burroughs’ trips into Colombia to discover the yagé drug..." Last but not least each copy of the book comes with a CD of Colombian tunes which compliment its content.  The mix draws from the best of the Colombian groups that have been covered on the Sound and Colours website and is, needless to say, extremely awesome. Finally! Something about Colombia that emphasizes its complexities, rich culture, and contributions, rather then overheated stereotypes.  It's refreshing deviation break from nation's usual  media coverage, so much of which ends up being defined by words like violence, drug trafficking, and danger, strung together  in the sentence after sentence.  Colombia is definitely on our holiday wish list, and it should probably be on yours as well. To read more about the book and purchase it, go HERE. For a taste of the CD that comes with any purchase of Colombia, listen to this mix!