So back to south America we come again. Once again we’ve done some preparation, although where we go, and when, is more of an open question this time, and the length of this trip remains as yet unknown! Big thanx to friends & family who’ve been so positive about this trip.
We have a few guides & maps with us again, and revisited some of the materials listed below for 2014. We also checked out a few others in recent months:
Book – Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent / Las Venas Abiertas de América Latina (Eduardo Galeano, 1971) – a must read!
Book – The Cosmic Serpent – DNA & the Origins of Knowledge (Jeremy Narby, 1995) – based on his experiences over a decade before in Peru, Narby invites us to believe what the indigenous people have told/shown him, whilst critiquing western science’s self-imposed straightjackets.
Website – UpsideDownWorld fine news & comment on Latin America. Temporarily down after malicious hacks (Oct/Nov 2016) but present on FB for now.
Website – TeleSur(English) leftfield news & views, pretty good on Latin America, a good place to start.
Film – Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra, 2016) indigenous shamen & western scientists in the Amazon, early 20th century. Stunning in sight & sound, and a powerful indictment of western colonialism/intervention. Go see!
Film – Where Do You Draw the Line? (documentary 2016) seen at Bristol’s Arnolfini in June 2016 at a one off screening, and still in production – the work of 3 former Bristol students. This doc looks at the plight of the Kichwa people living along the Napo river in the Ecuadorean Amazon as they take on the Govt & its oilmen who seek to destroy their environment to extract oil to repay Ecuador’s debts to China!
We have spent some time preparing for this trip!
We’ve looked through numerous travel guides, maps & websites. Time will tell how useful they have been, and as the trip progresses we’ll let you know which were the good ones.
Thanks are due to our friends who have been to south America before us. For their advice, ideas, tips, knowledge & help. Cheers to Nick B, Steve & Hannah, Yaz, Mike F, Rosa & Os.
We’ve checked out articles etc too numerous to list. Here’s some interesting films we’ve watched and some books we’ve read or at least skimmed through:
Nostalgia for the light/Nostalgia de la luz (Patricio Guzman, 2010) – stunning documentary on the sparse beauty of the Atacama desert, the cosmos above, and the dark histories of Chile in the ground.
Even the Rain (Iciar Bollain, 2010) – cracking film within a film located in the midst of Bolivia’s ‘water wars’.
When clouds clear/Despues de la Neblina (Clear Films, 2008) – small isolated community in the north Andes of Ecuador articulates the story so far of their campaign against the sale of their lands to mining speculators. A challenging documentary.
No (Pablo Larrain, 2012) – dramatisation of the No campaign against Pinochet’s referendum in Chile 1988, as led by a daring advertising exec.
Something Fierce – memoirs of a revolutionary daughter (Carmen Aguirre, 2011, published by Portobello Books). Much more than just the Chilean resistance.
The last days of the Incas (Kim MacQuarrie, 2007, Piatkus Books). Spanish invasion and Inca resistance, with a timely reminder of some clear parallels between those two expansionist regimes.
Space for movement? Reflections from Bolivia on climate justice, social movements and the state (Building Bridges collective, 2010). On the ‘World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth – CMPCCC’.
The Penguin History of Latin America (Edwin Williamson, 2009, Penguin Books). Comprehensive history of the continent since Columbus landed in 1492.
Dancing with dynamite – social movements and states in Latin America (Benjamin Dangl, 2010, AK Press). A country by country summary of social movements & resistance over the last 15 or so years.
Mujeres Grafiteando – dos libros (Mujeres Creando). 2 books of street graffiti & actions from the streets of Bolivia.
Revolutionary Horizons – past & present in Bolivian politics (Hylton & Thomson, 2007, Verso Books). From the Katari insurgency of 1780/1 to the upheavals of the last 15 years, this excellent book traces the history & culture of indigenous and community resistance across Bolivia.