"Dame dame dame, que te voy a dar ... una guayabita de mi guayabal."


El pop colombiano actual

Claro que en este análisis del pop colombiano actual de El Tiempo, empiezan con Shakira y Juanes (zzzzz...) pero también mencionan a grupos como Chocquibtown y Mojarra Eléctrica. (Mencionan, no se profundizan mucho, pero bueno.) Enlace


Buenaventura in AP/Buenaventura en prensa internacional

The Associated Press just ran a story on violence in Buenaventura. Note the typical tropes: the squlidness of children playing in the mud and the priest teaching (folkloric?) music to kids as an alternative to violence. Still, it's important that Buenaventura is on the radar.

La organización periodística mudial Associated Press acaba de distribuir un artículo (en inglés) sobre violencia en Puerto (Lleras, específicamente). Utiliza los tropos típicos para representarlo: los pelaos jugando en el barro y el sacerdote enseñándoles música (folklórica?) como alternativa a la violencia. De todas maneras, importante que Buenaventura esté en el radar.


Por falta de dinero, colegio de Patía (Cauca) tiene una banda de tarros que toca reguetón y cumbia

... tal como parece, tocan "currulao" también. De hecho, parece que lo único que no tocan es la música tradicional de allá, los bambucos patianos, etc., tan historicamente importante para la zona del Patía y el país. Sé que la cotinianidad de la gente no siempre va a mantener los estilos viejos, y ahí no hay problema, pero la falta de apoyo del Estado no deja siquiera que el bambuco patiano sea digno de mencionar, y mucho menos de enseñar a los pelaos...

Forget rule of law, income distribution or social justice, turning guns into guitars will solve Colombia's violence

Link and another link
This iss typical cockamammy Colombian cultural policy. Prettify things, sweep the violence under the rug, ignore any practical solutions for addressing the violence, and expect this kind of hokey cheap symbolic peace PR to solve everything. Violence, I'm sorry, is a lot more deeply-rooted than a lack of guitars or a preponderence of guns, and this kind of thing, while it might seem innocuous, is actually harmful in the way that it disctracts people's attention from more fundamental ways of trying to address this situation. (Notice that the picture of the guy who invented the rifle-guitar is of a middle-class white guy, which is its own way of brushing inequality under the rug.) This is a very typical usage of music in Colombian cultural policy, as you'll all see in an article that will be coming out fairly soon in the Iberian Society for Ethnomusicology's journal TRANS. The sad part is that, according to the article, this is being taken up by the UN, whcih should know better. Of course, the status of the UN in Colombia is often up fpr grabs, President Uribe has made it difficult for them to work there, at least as far as human rights stuff goes, and there have been quite a few changes in leadership and personnel in the UN High Comission for Human Rights.

Obtuse definition "terrorism" makes asylum difficult for immigrants to get.

If you pay a ransom for a kidnapped family member or give food or medical treatment to a "terrorist group" ("The administration defines a terrorist organization as any group of two or more people, organized or not, that uses any device or weapon to cause injury to person or property") you are disqualified for asylum in the US, which, let's face it, is 1) hard enough to get as it is and 2) the fact that you were forced to aid one of these armed groups is probably one of the very reasons why you need to leave that situation. Buncha ignirant pig-headedness.


Malicia indígena

La Marina encontró un semisumergible usado para trasportar droga en una vereda de Buenaventura. Lástima no publicaron una foto - imaginate un semi-sumergible casero!



Boxeador colombiano una berraquera

Edison Miranda, un boxeador porteño, es rápido y agresivo, con unas manos poderosas por ser peso mediano. En su última pelea, le dio el man (Gibbs de Filadelfia) el noqout - en la primera ronda, y no por primera vez. Se están oyendo comparaciones con un Tyson de peso mediano. En este video, Mirando le rompe la quijada a su oponente (Abraham, un alemán) pero le robaron la merecida victoria en decisión. Tiene 27 victorias, 24 con noqout, y ahora una derrota.

Edison Miranda is a fast, aggressive boxer from Buenaventura with a powerful punch for a middleweight. His last fight, he knocked the poor guy out in Round 1, as he has done in the past. Middleweight Tyson comparisons have been made. This video is him up against this German guy - he broke the guy's jaw but was robbed the victory in decision. His record is like 27-1 with 24 KOs.


Analysis of the Free Trade Agreement

The whole FTA between the US, Colombia and Peru, even though both Uribe and Bush managed to push it through (despite some pretty heavy opposition in Colombia) might be held up by the newly Democratic US Congress, meaning the whole bororó hasn't ended yet. This article has a good English-language analysis of the whole thing and why it's not a very good idea (among other thinghs, intellectual property of things from music to pharmaceuticals would end up being counted under US law, a system which serves corporate interests very well but is pretty closed to other conceptions or the ramifications of new information technology.)

Hard core right blog from the US discusses Colombia

Among other things, they talk about opposition to the proposed Free Trade Agreement as pro-FARC and Chávez's "Western Hemispheric Axis" and its desire to "divide Colombia." Interesting, though...



Música colombiana en NY/NY Colombian music

Hay cosas interesantes pasando en NY en estos días - Chonta Records ha organizado giras, está sacando grabaciones, y otras cosas interesantes y positivas con los varios grupos colombianos residentes en NY - chequeatelo acá.

Listen to a recent show by the group Coba here, starting more or less at 2:05:45.
Pillá un show reciente del grupo Coba acá, empezando más o menos en 2:05:45.

There's some pretty interesting stuff going on in the Big Apple these days - Chonta Records is booking tours, putting out records, and other interesting and positive things with the Colombian groups here in NY - check it out here.

Big scandal in Colombia

This is a pretty good article about the links between government institutions and the paramilitaries that re starting to come out. It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of this, although nobody knows how far up to the top the evidence adn allegations could go - at any rate, it will probably seriously threaten future aid packages from the US...


Consolidación de los medios en Colombia


Currulao en NY

Indigenous people map their territories with GPS and Google Earth/Indígenas mapeando sus territorios con GPS y Google Earth

Is there something wierd about this? I'm no Luddite but I can't quite put my finger on what seems wrong here... maybe having the indigenous acts as border patrol? Or maybe the whole idea of translating what they already know into terms that the rest of the world can understand and use - or abuse (it mentions biobiracy)?


Hay algo raro aquí? No soy tan reaccionario pero hay algo aquí que me da vainita... de pronto que los indígenas actuén de patrulla fronteriza? O de pronto la misma idea de traducir lo que ellos ya saben a un medio que los blancos pueden entender y usar - o abusar (como la bio-piratería)?

Gaiteros de San Jacinto

Los herederos del sonido de Toño Fernández, Catalino Parra y los Lara reviven el folclor con el nuevo álbum 'Tributo a los hermanos Lara'.


Plata para Cartagena

La finalidad es blindar el 'Corralito de Piedra' de basuras, vendedores ambulantes, indigentes, prostitutas, raponeros y el desorden vehicular.


How the Music Industry Works These Days


First Afrocolombian general/Primer general afrocolombiano

Link (English)
Enlace (Español)

Paramilitary, parastate? Paramilitar, paraestado?

The Colombian state is consumed in a scandal that is splashing even the President's feet about politicians and members of major state institutions being in bed with the paramilitaries. How come none of this stuff is in the NY Times these days? I know that Juan Forero, who was the Times correspondent based in Bogotá, went to the Washington Post, but still...



Xavante ringtone

The Xavante indigenous group of Brazil has stated selling traditional songs as ringtones, for lack of other economic possibilities. The point is not the "holy crap- the premodern and the postmodern!" or "the poor Indians are selling off their culture" or any of a number of other shocked responses. The interesting thing for me is that this example shows a delicate balance between respect for intellectual property (in this case, it would seem to be communal intellectual property) and the kind of file-share-friendly model of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, headed by Gilberto Gil.
Here are the ring tones and cell phone wallpapers they are offering. There are also ring tones and wallpapers from a quilombola (Afro-Brazilian maroon/escaped slave) community here.

Los indígenas Xavante de Brasil están vendiendo cantos tradicionales como ringtones, por falta de otras posibilidades económicas. El punto no es "wow, los premoderno y los posmoderno, que cagada la globalización" o "pobre indios vendiendo su cultura" o otras respuestas sorprendidas o indignantes. Lo interesante de esto para mí es el delicado balance entre respeto a la propiedad intelectual (en este caso, p.i. comunal) y la noción de circulación abierta a través de la tecnología que ha propuesto el Ministerio de Cultura Brasileira, liderado por Gilberto Gil. Aquí están los ringtones y wallpapers de los Xavante. También hay una comunidad quilombola (afro-brasileira/palenquera) vendiendo ringtones y wall papers.