colombia

Colombia: A Colonial Wonderland in High Relief

Sandra Bertrand

 A late afternoon snack at Patagonia, conveniently situated around the corner from our hotel, provided all the local color any curious turista could hope to find.  Circumventing a customer’s motorcycle parked three-quarters inside the door, we encountered bullfighting posters, rustic workmen’s tables crowded with midday diners and a narrow bar where we opted for a plate of grilled chorizo and a popular Colonial beer.  

Pathos and Minimalism: Doris Salcedo at the Guggenheim

Sabeena Khosla

Constructing memorials to those lost in conflict requires simultaneously painting with both a broad and fine-toothed brush (metaphorically speaking). The artist should not ignore nuanced suffering, yet the main goal is at the service of events that affect people en masse. While Doris Salcedo’s pieces, focusing on the Colombian Civil War, do not employ the typical tropes of memorials, they are still imbued with the sensitivity required of them due to her process and personal history, having lost family members to the conflict.

Getting Past the Past: How Colombia Reinvented Itself as a Tourist Destination

Michael Verdirame

Columbia is a country of extremes and opposites—beaches and mountains, old and modern, urban grit juxtaposed with breathtaking nature.  There is also a great disparity in the distribution of wealth, with the very rich sharing space with the very poor, and a middle class that finds it difficult to stay in the middle for very long.  Additionally, despite Colombia’s recent emergence as a viable tourist destination, that is not meant to indicate that all parts of the country are safe, leading to the perception of extremes between areas that are perfectly acceptable for tourists to explore and those that are dangerous even for locals.

Lost in Time: A Visit to Cartagena

Veronica Mendez

Today, “Plaza de los Coches” buzzes with activity as merchants sell fruit piled onto wooden crates, tourists carry shopping bags by the latest designers along with indigenous mochilas, and performers dressed in bright-colored dresses dance along to bachata. This plaza is where the slave market used to take place.  It served as the meeting point of three worlds—European, Indigenous American, and African—as the international trade created a process of ethnic and racial exchange. 

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