Chavez is dead

Uruguay, Montevideo 7th of march 2013

Uruguay, Montevideo 7th of march 201320130307_8737

 

“Long live Chavez, Chavez lives”

Montevideo, Uruguay, the 5th of march 2013.

You usually remember where you where and what you did when you got the news about the death of someone famous. I was in the taxi, leaving the house of my uruguayan aunt in the neighborhood La Union and going to me and my sister’s new apartment in barrio Goes, in Montevideo.

Yesterday (9th of march) when I took the taxi home in the middle of the night the taxista asks me if I know the neighbourhood where I’m going and I notice he pronounce the “allá” (“there”) with th y-sound and not the uruguayan “sh” (asha) –

“Your not from Uruguay right?” – and it feels good not to the be the foreigner for once

“No, I’m from Venezuela”

He asks me where I’m from and I explain my history with Uruguay. I mention that the turbulence in Montevideo bothers me and that the city has become more violent and insecure since I lived here last time in 2009.

“It’s nothing compared to Venezuela” – of course not. But it’s disturbing to see that Uruguay, that has been one of the more secure countries in Latin America, also is changing.

He left Venezuela because of Chavez.

“And now he’s dead”

“Yes, but he’ve left many angry people behind, he robed from the middle class, land and possessions, to give to the poor, taken with violence and has cooperated with gangsters and drug-affairs, there’s much conflicts to come”

I tell him to stop at Palacio legislativo, from there I can find my street – since he doesn’t yet now the area so well. I wanted to hear more about his experience but I have to let him continue his shift. When I walk home I realize I thought of asking him the same question that I’m tired of answering “and why did you come to Uruguay?” I guess he would give me the same answer as I have – by coincidence. Por casualidad.

Nobody choose Uruguay, but then you start loving it. Parts of it. Hopefully he will to, Venezuela will probably not be safe to return to for a while to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Palacio Legislativo, Montevideo, Uruguay 2013-03-10

 

 

We got caught in paradise… Cabo Polonio y el Viejo Lobo

Time travel

After 2 days traveling I finally arrived in Montevideo – it´s already hard to write in english, although I don´t speak spanish very well I think in spanish in my own way =P the grammar is now so confused with english, swedish and spanish so this post I will let the pictures do the talking… It´s feels like a timetravel, passing thru London, sleeping at my friend Rachael´s place, taking the Victoria lina all the way to the endstation WEalthamstow in the middle of the night this monday. Getting up at 5.30 and walking the surburbian streets of London with the salesmen opening their fruit markets. Arriving in Barajas at 13.40 and finally getting into Madrid at 16 to see my old college from the coffeeshop, Agnes, who ran up to her office to make me a coffe in a tiny keepcup – walking into Parque Retiro where I walk the last time with Sara in 2008. Passing by the places in Madrid where I met James for the first time, really brought back old memories… Sat down at a café in el barrio Malasaña and then met up with Agnes to eat something and having a beer before I went back to the aiport.

Leaving Stockholm with -2 degrees, snow and ice – passing by London with +10 and rain, getting out of the metro in madrid with spring weather ca 18degrees and then sleeping thru the 12hour flight to Montevideo – I was lucky to have the seat between a nice argentinian girl and a exiled Uruguayan (who lived in barcelona) that gave me his tube of Voltaren para mi cuello! And then, believe it or not… I recognized the guy next to the man… when I got up before arriving in Montevideo I asked him and yes – it was Sebbe Staxx who´s a musician in the Swedish group Kartellen, I recognized him since I took his portrait for the local newspaper Arsta/Enskede this autumn!! Incredible, that not only do we sit on the same airplan sino tambien en la misma fila!! He was going to visit a friend, another musician, who´s in prison here in Uruguay – apparently they had got permision to film a music video dentro el prision…

Arriving in Montevideo I just called my aunt and took a taxi to their house, and here I am, as if 3 years never passed by…!! The only thing that makes me realize how mush time has passed is to see my godson Mateo – he´s the son of one of the persons I interviewed for my reportage “Children of the dictatorship”  and who became a very dear friend… Mateo was first shy but then when he realized who I was he called me “tia Kiki” = aunt Kiki !!

OK, sorry for this messy post, it´s all just to emocional right now! Tonight I´m going 9hours  north, to my hostfamily in Artigas, to celebrate carnaval and my 23rd birthday… Have patience with me ;) there´s much things in movement right now…

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What is a life without committment? If not very, very booring…

Today I had lunch with and interviewed my friend Nena, who was my Uruguayan “mentor” in Stockholm when I started scratching on the surface of what later became the reportage “Hijos de la dictadura” (Children of the dictatorship). I asked her a lot about Tupamaros, the Uruguayan guerilla that emerged in the 60’s, and her escape to Sweden but what was the most interesting of our conversation was what she started talking about and also what the history ended in – what’s happening in Sweden today. And not just in Sweden, the whole world – Internet has become our most important tool to communicate and to raise our voices, a tool that has made it possible for us to join causes all around the globe.

But then, what’s happening in our own environment while we’re busy, connected to the computer, reading about what’s happening in Somalia and thinking you’re happy YOU don’t live there. Yes, if you’re gonna compare, Sweden is probably one of the “best”, safest countries to live in, but what happens to the society when we block out each other and don’t care about our neighbor. It’s an “every man for them selves”-society. We develop in technology but what about developing in humanity and remembering what we are living for?

I talked about this also yesterday with a guy from Brazil (who I met while working at the coffeeshop the other day). While walking around the lake of Stockholm my mouth went “bla balbbablöa”, he’s studying environmental engineering and I admire people who actually are good at becoming something that the society really needs to survive (instead of me, imagining that my pictures are important to make people think…?). I mentioned I always had thought I would work for the UN or at some smaller aid organisation, to make a difference and do something meaningful – while growing older I realized how corrupt even those organizations are and I started detest giving away money to charity, like paying the catholic church for cleaning you of your sins… it’s an easy fix to keep on living an “expendable” lifestyle, over consuming and clean your conscience when what we really need to do is to take a look in our closest environment, have time to stop and buy a sandwich or a blanket to that poor man sitting outside in -13 degrees – instead we rush by and think to ourselves “he probably has himself to blame”.

Why is it easier to care about starving kids in Africa while we’re ignoring the homeless in our own streets?

What happened to caring? Many times I catch myself being dragged in to the attitude that almost is the hallmark for our generation – don’t care too much about anything, just care enough to be political correct. Multitasking in commitment. The word solidarity has almost lost it’s meaning – it’s been associated with hippies and “unrealistic” ideas, like communism, the same way that feminism has become a word some women don’t even dare to take in their mouths because it would mean that you’re a butch and hate men? (How can you wanna be a free woman and not being a feminist please tell me)

Our generation has stopped caring, we think everyone else, the government, will deal with the important stuff so that we can just enjoy life – but then, isn’t commitment the most important thing in life? Passion? Interest? What will your life become if you don’t care about anything? and what society will we have to enjoy in if there’s nobody committing them selves to making it better…? It’s so easy for us today to live without participating in society – finally you’ve stopped caring so little, or forgot about how to make a change that you’ll let the wrong people rule and you’ll make it easy for evil men to cease power.

Then one day you’re watching SD, the Swedish Democrats, collecting all people in Sweden with “non-swedish” surnames being thrown out of the country and you’ll fear to raise your voice in protest.

We always believe we’re better than before, let’s not forget about the history, talk to more old people.

rehenes

Picture from Museo de la Memoria, Montevideo, of when they freed the female “rehenes” from the military at the end of the Uruguayan dictatorship, after 13 years of being held hostages and tortured to keep their families and fellows from raising their voices.

För blogg om reportaget på svenska, y a veces en español – http://www.diktaturensbarn.blogspot.se/