Tue, 28 June 2022
In this week's episode, we have the pleasure of sitting down with Ander Agudelo, an entrepreneur from Medellín, keen on telling us about some of the realities of the city beyond the popular tourist haunts of El Poblado and Laureles. By way of Ander's online and on-site Spanish classes (Spanglish 360 Academy on facebook and Instagram), we hear about the urban regeneration of the city, much lauded in the international press, but also, the reality of being a middle to lower income resident of the city. Enjoy this frank conversation and the Colombia News Brief from journalist Emily Hart.
Tue, 21 June 2022
On Episode 429 of the Colombia Calling podcast, we're allowing the dust to settle on the recent presidential elections in Colombia and take a look at one of Colombia's first free-thinkers, Antonio Nariño. Our special guest this week is Emily Hausheer who has investigated in-depth the life and times of Nariño. It all begins with the outbreak of the French Revolution which sets Nariño's mind on fire. He translated the Declaration of the Rights of Man and had the document printed in his own house (1794). He might as well have handled dynamite. He was accused of sedition, convicted by the highest court of the land, and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment in Africa, permanent exile, and the confiscation of his property (1795). Hear the full story of this incredible individual.
Tue, 14 June 2022
Over the last fifteen years Colombia has moved from ostensibly failed state to emerging market and tourist destination, providing Nobel-endorsed evidence that peace and reconciliation are possible after decades of brutalization. But while Colombia may no longer be the country that former president Ernesto Samper described in 2002, where governing was like trying to pilot an airplane in a storm while the passengers were rioting, neither is it the wonderland depicted in official propaganda. Many Colombians live badly; many more, well into the nominal middle class, live precariously; and still more structure their lives around minimizing their chances of falling victim to crime—something the poorest are unable to do. Unhappiness about the present and pessimism about the future are rampant across the social scale, focused precisely on those themes the Juan Manuel Santos government (2010–2018) touted as successes: the peace process, “social inclusion,” and infrastructure and public services. Much can be blamed on the administration of President Ivan Duque and the continual spectre of uribismo in addition to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Colombia may be more governable than it used to be, but not because the passengers are happier with the pilot—with the qualified (and to many Colombians highly suspicious) exception of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Tune in for a profound historical and amusing anecdotal look at Colombia through the eyes and experience of an expert Latin Americanist. Dr. Richard Stoller is Coordinator of Academic Advising and International Programs, Schreyer Honors College, Pennsylvania State University. Colombia news brief from journalist Emily Hart.
Tue, 7 June 2022
Colombian writer, journalist, philosopher and art dealer Juan Pablo Plata joins us on this week's Colombia Calling podcast (Episode 427) to discuss Colombia as a literary experience and how literature in Colombia has been defined over each decade by single-crop farming (monocultivo) and extractive industries. Perhaps, says Plata, we can look at Palm Oil, Coca (for cocaine), Bananas, Coal, Oil Coltan, Rubber and beyond as defining literature in Colombia depending on the era? And certainly, Jorge Isaacs, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Laura Restrepo and others can be linked directly to this phenomenon. "We already know that the best Colombian history is written by anglosaxons," said Plata. We discuss anglosaxon literature on Colombia, such as by authors such as Malcolm Deas, Davd Bushnell and Wade Davis before plunging into Colombia's new literary frontier of ELO (literatura electonica colombiana). Check out Juan Pablo Plata on Twitter: @jppescribe and his literary magazine: Colina Revista - https://revistalcolina.blogspot.com Colombia News Brief from journalist Emily Hart.