Rather beautiful item for sale in a BBC auction…
It’s exciting that the country’s government is investing in the arts, though the gallery’s emphasis on the poor is certainly politically convenient. Céren’s Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) — a formerly militant leftist party — has a history of campaigning in the poverty-stricken, rural regions of El Salvador, where access to basic needs like clean water and sanitation is limited. It’s also worth noting that while thirty family members of civil war victims and eight human rights organizations were invited to the gallery’s opening, journalists were not (the president has already been criticized for his treatment of the press).
This gallery contains 9 photos.
cross-my-tea: How I feel about making art. I genuinely love David Lynch.
The dictatorship still casts a big shadow, though sometimes indirectly, as in Sobrevivientes (Shipwrecked) by Fernando Monacelli. Twenty-five years after the war in the Falklands, a mother finds the frozen body of a soldier, her son, adrift in a lifeboat near the Antarctic. In other cases it is barely perceptible or merely metaphorical. Soy Paciente (Patient), a novel by Ana María Shua, tells the story of a man who goes into hospital, but its irony and black humour conceals scathing criticism of the dictatorship. Carlos Bernatek operates along similar lines. “The 1970s are lurking in all my novels,” he says. “But I refuse to be over-explicit. I would rather the reader guessed.” He pauses for thought, then adds: “As Argentinians we are still living with people who, though they may not actually have tortured anyone, were accomplices to torture … If you add that to the memory of the [American] Indian genocide, during colonisation, and the fact that towns like Bariloche, in Río Negre province, welcomed Nazis on the run after the second world war, you begin to understand why Borges said that ‘being an Argentinian is an escapable act of fate’!” No doubt in an attempt to escape this fate, some authors have looked elsewhere for inspiration. They have fled in their imaginations to Mexico or France, as with Federico Jeanmaire in Vida Interior (Interior Life) or Pablo de Santis in El Enigma de Paris (The Paris Enigma). Others, such as César Aira and Sergio Bizzio take refuge in absurd, eccentric tales. Rodrigo Fresán and Leandro Avalos Blacha revel in fantasy, whereas Selva Almada moves to the country, in a deeply personal novel. In another form of flight, Damian Tabarovsky experiments freely in Autobiografia Medica (Medical Autobiography), combining a narrative form that defies classification with philosophical inquiry. So there is a lot going on and it is very diverse.