Archivo de la categoría: History

“Bordar por la paz. Un pañuelo una víctima”

Poco a poco, la violencia se ha apoderado de nuestro entorno. No, no, no, permítanme corregirme: no ha sido poco a poco, sino como bien lo describen muchos, fue una ola que arrasó, y que constante y precisa, baña de sangre todos los territorios conocidos. Imposible decir algo inteligente, interesante o revelador al respecto, más difícil asimilarlo. No poseo respuestas a si el presidente es el culpable con su guerra contra el narco, no me parece tan simple, sólo sé que su figura me desagrada y que esa sensación se origina en mis entrañas, sin mayor explicación. El mismo repudio siento hacia todas aquellas personas que forman parte de la maquinaria, hasta ahora semi perfecta y eficaz, que mata sin parar.

Dentro de todo ese malestar contenido, -y digo contenido porque la posibilidad de regalarse un momento para desahogar tanto coraje y manifestarlo de alguna forma pareciera ingenua con el endemoniado ritmo de vida que llevamos-, hay grupos de personas, cada vez más grandes, que se están organizando. No para cambiar las cosas, no para hacer presión social, creo yo que el propósito es más bien moralizante. Un desahogo colectivo  que toma lugar ya sea en una marcha, en lecturas públicas, teatro callejero o algún concierto de rock. Manifestaciones culturales (o no) en las que la gente se encuentra cara a cara con otras personas que cargan el mismo desazón, la misma incertidumbre. El gritar al unísono, el reir o llorar, sin pena y sin freno porque el de al lado es capaz de comprender, se convierte en algo terapéutico y muy necesario.

Cada vez hay más lugares donde toparse con estos grupos organizados. Esta vez, el proyecto que llamó mi atención lo encontré caminando por Coyoacán. Unas personas bordaban unos pañuelos, y aunque en principio pensé que eran las típicas manualidades para abuelitas, después me percaté de lo que decían los bordados. “Bordar por la paz. Un pañuelo una víctima” es el lema del colectivo “Fuentes Rojas”, quienes proponen bordar pañuelos con los nombres o descripciones de cada uno de los cincuenta mil muertos de la guerra contra el narco. El objetivo del proyecto es, en sus propias palabras, “bordar esperanza y memoria”. Una vez logrado un número considerable de bordados, se mostrarán en las plazas públicas del país.

A continuación, las instrucciones para el bordado, y los datos de contacto por si les interesa participar:

1. Capturar el texto de un caso y pasarlo a la tipografía que elijas. Se sugiere usar de 28 a 48 puntos.

2. Centrar el texto en la página.

3. Imprimir el texto sobre el papel y pasarlo con papel carbón al pañuelo, asegurándose que no queden letras fuera de la tela.

4. Usar hilo rojo. No importa el tipo de rojo ni si una sola persona bordará todo el texto.

5. Incluir del lado izquierdo el o los nombres de quien bordó y el lugar dónde se bordó.

7. Finalizar el bordado poniendo del lado derecho, con tipografía libre (de 36 ptos.) el número del caso en relación con la totalidad de los muertos que van.

COMPRA

Los pañuelos deben medir 42 x 42 cm y cuestan $4.00 cada uno.

LUGAR

Los domingos de octubre se harán bordados colectivos en el jardín del centro de Coyoacán de 12 a 16 hras.

CONTACTO

mocas3x@gmail.com

NOTA IMPORTANTE
El proyecto es autosubvencionado, y si bien se agradece la cooperación en cuanto al costo de los materiales, lo más importante es gente que quiera bordar. Lleva a tu abuelita, a tu mamá, a tus tías, a tus hijos, a tus primos, a tu novio, pero llévalos.

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Archivado bajo Columna, History, Journal, Personal, Reality

Hitler gets a Mac

The amateur video of the day has a lot of elements from popular culture. Using footage from a recent german movie, the author of the video presents the situation of Hitler getting a Mac (I just learned we shouldn’t use that term to refer to Apple computers, but anyway) and having lots of problems with it. So we have:

  • Hitler
  • Macs
  • The PC vs Mac controversy (hundreds of comments on how one is better than the other one)
  • The use of humor to transform a historical fact into an everyday life situation :)

Enjoy!

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Archivado bajo History, Popular culture, youtube

Another boring day 5.6

In the fifth chapter of his book, Lawrence Grossberg talks about rock formation, and it starts by making sure the readers understand Rock was born under a complex net made of structures of social and economic relations, aesthetic conventions, styles of language, movement, appearance and dance, ideological commitments, media representations, etc. So, only because a band or a singer perform in the rock scene, we cannot predict its political formation and position.  Rock is not inheritely subversive, as we may think. Before judging any musical genre, we should look at the context it was created in. And I’m sure we can apply the same way of thinking to all social situations.

Rock culture was largely produced for and marketed to a youth audience.

Rock is perhaps the only musical culture in which the identity of its audience bleeds into the music. (P. 133)

In the next chapter, Grossberg describes how the american society was created, so it could give birth to rock and roll. Liberalism is a key word to this chapter, because according to the author it celebrates plurality as the condition of the country’s difference from the rest of the world.  Americans can spend their money in whatever they want without having the government regulating this situation, for example. So this postwar context shaped the political possibilites of rock culture.

The 50’s, where everything seemed nice and perfect, wouldn’t that be asphyxiating for any youth?

Anyway, Grossberg goes on confirming this thought. Rock came out of a period of conservativism BUT it didn’t reject the domestic image of daily life that generally prevailed in the US, including the privileged position it gave to the man in both gender and sexual relations. As an example, professor Strangelove used “Under my thumb” by the Rolling Stones, which leads us to another fact about r&r, even when the rock community was politized, it celebrated things like sensuality and sexuality. Does anybody remember The Pelvis? Another important thing to mention, is that on its origins, rock and roll was actually pretty limited, because it was black music. So the genre existed within the racist ideologies that were all over the place in the US and it only became mainstream when white people performed it. So that shows that while being a way of expressing rebelliousness, it was also very conservative.

In conclusion, the author tries to question the “subversive” nature of rockandroll. Was it really subversive at any point? Or it was just the strategy that was used to sell it?

rockandroll1

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Archivado bajo Culture, History

Power, daily life, articulation and agency

The third chapter of the book talks about Power and the daily life. According to Grossberg, power operates vertically, as the dominant groups use culture to organize subordinate populations from above. I’ve mentioned a few examples of this situation in older posts, but  I can provide new ones, like the use of propaganda in movies and cartoons during the World War II to increase a sense of nationalism and unity inside the United States.

“Cultural texts embody, communicate and hence reproduce – either through what they say or through what they don’t say – the dominant ideologies which reflect and reproduce relations of power existing outside the texts.” (p. 91)

So we are all dominated by manipulative cultural practices, but that doesn’t mean we can’t interpret texts in order to reject or embrace them as our own.  People can be both empowered and disempowered. The example the author uses is women living in sexist societies, in which they may also be empowered to discover new relations to their own bodies and identities, as portrayed in new media (Sex and the City). However, this opportunity to be “in control” doesn’t change the fact that women were driven to third way feminism because they live ruled by men and men’s desires.

As for chapter 4, I found a really interesting statement about humanity. According to Grossberg, it is the product of social practices which define what it means to be human. There is always a human nature, but it is different in different social formations, in different historical periods. It’s real, but not universal or transcendent.

Then, I bumped into the concept of interpellation, which is to place individuals at particular sites. So I’m being interpellated when the government tells me I’m a citizen, when the university tells me I’m a student, when the media tells me I’m a consumer, when the society tells me I’m a young woman, and so on. All these contradictory interpellations determine my individuality and many times, I get confused (I’m putting myself as an example, but I really mean all people) stressed and depressed, because there are so many different demands that becomes overwhelming. All together, this is an example of articulation, for it shows the many stages that conform me, and even when they are different, they’re within the same individual.

We don’t have the freedom to scape our historical context. People make history but people are also determined by it.

Now, the concept of agency is close to the concept of “tendential forces”, which represent a movement and a direction which appears to be independent of the desires or intentions of any and even possibly all social groups. Capitalism, industrialism, technology, democracy, nationalism, religion, all are examples of such forces. They do not exist independently of or in some opposition to individuals. No group controls their direction, but it’s a common belief that technology will give us control of forces and hence, the future.

History has proved us wrong, but I suppose we can wait and see if this time is any different.

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Archivado bajo History, Popular culture