Venezuela

(the business of living)

Carlos Egaña is one of Venezuela’s most prominent poets. Like many other poets of his generation he mainly publishes his poetry online. Internet has become a second home since traditional media are dominated by the state and because publishers have become more careful as to what they print. Here we publish a recent poem by Egaña. 

“We’re Living under a Systematic Censorship”

President Nicolás Maduro was recently sworn in for a new six-year term of office. No democratic country recognises him as the legitimate leader of the country, but that doesn’t stop the regime. The leaders in Venezuela have during the last year imprisoned opponents and cleansed social media from critical comments.

The Testimony of a Political Prisoner

Venezuela still has a long way to go concerning LGBT rights. For example, Venezuelan law does not recognize same sex marriages or partnerships. When Rosmit Mantilla, politician and LGBT activist, openly criticised the lack of progress regarding the issue of LGBT rights, he was imprisoned.

Caracas—the City of Flies

The flies of Caracas have taken control of the journalist Luz Mely Reyes’ life. Over the past year a great amount of garbage is seen to litter the neighbourhood where she lives. The inevitable flies follow her around; they have invaded her home and continuously keep pestering her. What do these flies want her? “Why are some insects so annoying?” she wonders.

On Fascination

“How is it possible that the greater the amount of nonsense the more passive is my spell state?” asks the Venezuelan writer and architect Federica Vega in his essay where he explores how a fascination for the devastating developments in Venezuela risks paralyzing artists and writers in the country.

The Censor’s Evil Dream

In February 2018 a delegation from PEN International visited Caracas to examine the state of the freedom of speech in the country. The outcome of this visit is a report by the Mexican writer and journalist Alicia Quiñones.

The Country of Broken Mirrors

The crisis in Venezuela is worsening. The political, economical, humanitarian, and social developments in the country have in the year 2018 forced two million people to flee their homes. “The country, a fragmented mirror, broken and contained in other mirrors also fragmented and broken,” writes Fedosy Santaella, writer and professor of literature.

Waking up to Everyday’s Nightmare

Amnesty International reports that in Venezuela between 2015 and June 2017 more than 8 200 people were executed without trial. In his text the Venezuelan writer and editor Héctor Torres describes the Kafkaesque lives that people lead in Venezuela, where they may be randomly evicted from their homes and without trial might find themselves behind bars.

Super-Cheap Scenes

With her blog called Escenas baratonas (Super-Cheap Scenes), the writer Margarita Arribas Zamora has renewed the well-known Venezuelan genre costumbrismo (depictions of daily life).

“I Came Here to Remind You that Our Freedom Ends”

In February 2018, the journalist and chairman of Venezuelan PEN, Milagros Socorro received Oxfam Novib/PEN Award for Freedom of Expression. Here, we publish her moving acceptance speech. 

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