Photo exhibit by Eny Roland and Mikkel Rebsdorf
at Café Leon, in the Historic Center
at Café Leon, in the Historic Center
Weather today: Very hot. Big hail & thunder storm in the evening.
We have artists and filmmakers coming from all around the world during the whole month! I'm in heaven. This month, my turf here will feel to me like the center of the world, instead of the margins.
BTW, the photo above is from a very cool photo exhibit opening I recently attended. It took place in a wide room made-up like the crypt of an old church, lighted by votive candles, covered in petals and pine needles. Incense wafting. Everybody found it very impressive. Perhaps I should clarify that the theme was Holy Week, which is why the set-up made sense.
The exhibit was interesting, because Eny is Guatemalan and Mikkel from Northern Europe, so different perspectives on the same topic. Their collaboration worked well. Visit Eny's blog or google both of them. I think you'll enjoy their work.
I keep trying to be seriously better about this blog, but life keeps getting in the middle. It has been an interesting couple of weeks. One of this blog's readers decided to come visit Guatemala from his native New York and asked me if there was anything he could bring me. I said, if not too much bother, a couple of my favorite magazines. And he did! Thanks Stav!
One can get US magazines here but not as soon as in the US and at thrice the price. Plus, there isn't much variety. Somehow, I just don't feel enthused enough by Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day and Cosmopolitan to fork out the equivalent to US$10 for each. Those are among the few staples one can find in Guatemala.
A night out. These friends are a D.A. and a journalist. They were ... whatever! Story too long. I like the pic, though.
I prefer, however, New York Magazine, Wired, Rolling Stone and The New Yorker, as well as more artsy fare such as Juxtapoze (the street art magazine) and ArtNews. Sometimes these can be found here. The operative word being, sometimes. So if you ever come round these parts, and you want to please me no end, you know what to bring me. Any of those would suffice.
Though I should add that I also like many others, including Texas Monthly. Don't ask why, I just do.
I have become a local reporter!
I was asked to write an article for the best Sunday magazine in Guatemala. Because the availability of quality magazines in Spanish here is, like, nil, and the imported magazines are so expensive, people really do read the several newspapers published here and their Sunday magazines. Siglo XXI newspaper has the best one. So finally got all my ducks in a row as they say, wrote the article, and it got published. It also generated a good response.
I posted it on Facebook and was quite surprised by the level of response. People seemed to really like it! And they weren't all my family. I am glad that the editor polished it before printing, of course.
There are a lot of tremendously exciting events coming up. This week there is an International Documentary Film Festival, and the cinematic auteurs are coming to present their work, so there are filmmakers from Germany, Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Chile coming in. All of the films are about the dirty wars in different Latin American nations as well as Africa.
The headliner film is La Isla, Archives of a Tragedy, by a German filmmaker. It's a documentary about the discovery of the controversial Historic Police Archives in Guatemala. The tickets are free, but there has been such demand that they had to increase the showings from 1 to 3! And the tickets flew in a matter of hours each time they came out. I had to go three times for mine before finally nabbing some, and kept calling to make sure I'd get there before they were all gone.
To read a review in English click here. It will be presented in the USA this week as well.
At the same time, this week is the annual art Biennale, with even more international artists than last year. Lately, there have been several art endeavors here which involve bringing international artists and they turn out pretty good. These two festivals are taking place in the historic downtown, I got invites to several events, so works for me!
I take printmaking classes at the workshop of La Torana, a collective of award-winning printmaking artists schooled in the art schools of Mexico and Spain, who have a long-held tradition in printmaking.
Up to now, I have really concentrated on the discipline of woodcarving. More out of laziness and lack of drive to explore any other printmaking medium. In woodcarving, one carves a print on a wood plaque and uses it for printing. Simple enough for me to forge ahead with my paltry skills.
La Torana invariably gets some of their pieces in Guatemala's biennales as well as those of other countries. It's pretty exciting, even as a student, to be close to all this art ferment going on.
I know, I know, the nun has a very sullen expression and don't ask me why a nun. I don't know. Getting influenced (tainted? blessed? blasted?) by all the over-the-top Catholic imagery and regalia around me.
I made the original drawing challenged by the fabric folds--copied it from an 1890s publication--but after drawing it, seemed way too complicated for a woodcarving, so the face had to suffice.
Strangely, she looks very much like an old friend's ex-wife. Just came out that way, I swear. Maybe I'll give it to him as a gift. Maybe he'd like to see his ex as an angry nun.
Other than that, there was a lot going on during Holy Week--photos of which I shall eventually upload onto this blog (they. are. amazing!)--and going to pubs and the theater with friends, that is, when not working. I do work. Off and on.
Still doing some work for the Office of the Historic District. And writing. And finishing the dissertation. And the inn, as always. It has been very full these weeks. Lots of work.
Among my favorite guests lately were two adorable subjects of Her Majesty the Queen, Ben and Henry, straight from England and worried because they knew not a word of Spanish and were going to travel around the country on their own. We helped them out and set them on a shuttle off to where they needed to go.
We became friends and so I later heard from them that they had had a blast. Good. They did enjoy the mercado central close to the Inn, so I am glad I stirred them there before they left. I just really love the fact that I meet so many cool and lovely people from around the world here. Even better, that some become friends and keep in touch.
I thought you might enjoy this short video on the more modern area of the city. Next post will be photos of Holy Week and I know, I just know, you'll love them!
Hotel - Lofts - Parking
In the heart of the Historic Center