Wednesday, August 20, 2014

La Vuelta Podcast: Images of Latin America's "Dirty Wars" at John Jay College

The "Dirty Wars" of the 1970s and 1980s in Latin America left deep imprints on the societies in which they were waged. The violence and terror of those years shaped everything from political discourse to literature and music. The visual arts, of course, were not immune to the struggles of that era either. Photographers and other visual and multimedia artists captured not only the brutality of Latin America's authoritarian regimes but also the ways in which ordinary citizens resisted them. The theme of resistance is at the center of an exhibition at John Jay College's Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery entitled "Bearing Witness: Art and Resistance in Latin America." Organized by two of my John Jay College colleagues, Roberto Visani and Marcia Esparza, together with art historian and collector Estrellita Brodsky, the exhibition captures images of fear and courageous defiance in the face of government impunity. As Brodsky points out in this interview, the viewer is drawn to these images and is forced to confront the violence head-on; "you can't claim you didn't see it."  Indeed.

Through September 12, 2014.

Bearing Witness: Art and Resistance in Latin America. 
Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery 
John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY
524 West 59th Street, L2.73.14 
New York, NY 10019     

Gallery Hours: 1pm-5pm, M-F, or by appointment
For more information please | 212-237-1439

Saturday, August 16, 2014

La Vuelta Podcast: East Los High

Let’s just get this out of the way from the get-go: East Los High is addictive.  The Hulu-based series has enough sex, drama, intrigue and double-dealing to make it a worthy heir to the rich tradition of Latin American telenovelas.  But to see the show simply as a U.S. Latino version of the nightly fare on Univision or Telemundo is to miss the its larger point of highlighting the very real health issues facing many Latino teens in the United States.  East Los High, which is a project of the Population Media Center, is the latest successful example of the Sabido Method, an entertainment-education strategy that uses television and radio serials to raise awareness of issues related to health, especially reproductive health.  The program has enjoyed wide success in the developing world but East Los High is the first  attempt to reach Latinos in the United States.  As Kathleen Bedoya, the show’s co-creator and co-Executive Producer, tells us in this interview, the show, which launched its second season on Hulu in July, has not only attracted a large audience because of its story-lines but has been able to change young Latinos’ attitudes about sex, health, and nutrition.  In short, East Los High isn’t your abuela’s telenovela.  (Although she’d probably watch it anyway).