Friday, March 7, 2014

To all who have followed or read this blog, I would like to thank you for your support and invite you to join which will replace this blog in the forthcoming days.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Excerpts from a work in progress

Politics on the fictitious island was a product of assimilation, colonialism, capitalism and anything that could fit into and between the categories of what made the leaders supreme. That was the democracy smothering us, an emblem of corrupted justice emanating from the laws of the majority that were manipulated at random, without explanation and with the condescending attitude that expected gratitude out of its citizens. There was no dignity – only its carcass serving as a functional mechanism of our imperial rulers. Autonomy had bowed to the abhorrence of indignity, and the citizens were as fictitious as the island beneath their feet. There was not a single map that would mark their bearings.
Sebastian was reclining against a pile of crates, his blue eyes betraying and disdaining a memory that he inherited – a memory which had sapped language from our late companera. I thought to disassociate the hue of my eyes from the granite they had once become.

Cesar’s resonant intonation conquered the night spreading over the continent. The guitar adhered to his intention with the fervour of someone fearing desertion and flaunting the politics of loyalty. It was a ballad unlike the rest. The thematic silence we associated with Cesar became a tenacious cry that rendered victory an emotion beyond any patronising anthem. Unfettered by the banal procedures of educational institutions that promoted the acquiescence of conformity, the campesinos in the narrow land grasped the essence of revolution without the conflagration of fear. The song mingled with the spirit of the murdered revolutionaries in the Estadio Chile, seeking the hands of the workers whose minds sought within and beyond the necessities of work.

This time we were stunned by our irregular silence. It was as if Cesar had rendered us incapable of uttering a word. But the greatest dissonance came from Sebastian. His usual imposing manner, which tended to infuriate me more than anyone else, seemed depleted. His eyes were a shimmer of tears, whilst on his lips writhed the curse of inheritance and the burden of shared memory. He walked past me with swift paces, bestowing a glance back at me before taking the stairs down to his cabin.

I was loath to leave Cesar’s side but, with curiosity rather than concern, followed Sebastian. The door was wide open, and he was staring at the collection of paintings, all bearing his signature. One of his paintings, which I had never noticed before, was a portrait of luminous brown eyes defying specks of sapphire in the distance. An apology welled up in me that was more resilient than my pride. I sat beside Sebastian, and for the first time since the inception of our voyage, appreciated the personality imbued with the undesirable connections of corrupt power, wealth and the memory of a past degeneration which had nothing and everything to do with him. It was the reason he chose to embark on the raft. Sebastian was the only inadvertent recollection that would manacle me to the years when I resigned myself to muted masks.

He had already added me to his precious collection of imagery, whereas my memory had become a putrid lake of subconscious hatred. I could not articulate my thoughts to him, but his hand traced the abrasive tear that scorched my cheek. I had persisted in chaining him to the blunder of his ancestry. He was a minefield I did not seek to understand, but in our different worlds, we faced the ambivalent challenge of rising beyond the hatred stemming from undocumented history. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Narrations

Within a history battling oblivion and fabrication, fences materialise to portray the division between death and desolation. Faces disappear prior to their annihilation. Abbreviations belonging to embodiments of socialist struggle fester underground. The bombing of La Moneda and the voice of companero presidente. Constructing a memory out of narratives, an eloquent testimony which led me to Estadio Chile - the systematic, impeccable horror of military uniforms contrasting with the eyes of detainees, where nueva cancion and Unidad Popular and MIR and street demonstrations and cries of Allende, Allende, el pueblo te defiende! slithered towards me, clamouring for an inscribed testimony. Guitar strings ... Victor ... the first five thousand victims of neoliberal vengeance inscribed in the final poem. More faces etched in black, grey and white shades - memories of resistance tortured, torched, buried or dispersed by helicopters hovering over the ocean. The contamination of treason spread far beyond the narrow land. Enforced exile dispersed unity in contradicting narrations. Parillas, detenidos desaparecidos, ni perdon ni olvido. A solitary banner accompanied by a solitary voice on the island of conformity was hounded by the impeccable spectre in white. An apparition of concentration camps manifested itself between the impeccable spectre and the voice. In the aftermath of the dream, only the white gloves remained - a relic of the dictator's manifestation. Names transformed into a litany of faces and families. Beyond the realm of lacerated justice, language strives to conjure biographies, a memory beyond my years engulfed in ashes, the suspicious death of a poet, a murdered singer, MIR, Unidad Popular ... a flag dissolving into a distant September in my consciousness battling justice, oblivion and vengeance.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chile: The Disappeared of Cuartel Simon Bolivar

My article in Upside Down World about the detenidos desaparecidos of Cuartel Simon Bolivar, a secret torture and extermination site described as 'the place where no one got out alive'.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chile's Government Wages War on Historical Memory and Truth

My article about the controversial decision to replace 'military dictatorship with 'military regime' in Chilean primary school textbooks published in Upside Down World.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Scent of Nostalgia (17)

Our voices created a society within and apart from the select rulers and their followers who had rendered the existence and definition of society debatable. A multitude of narrators clamoured in my mind, begging me to unravel their voices to the wind. I had brought a harvest of injustice on board our vessel, which I meant to avenge. The voices were in imminent peril. If despair is all a person can cling to, memory becomes bathed in self-spilled blood and the violence of justice guards its triumph over the vanquished with perfunctory statements whislt wallowing in a macabre celebration behind the mahogany doors.