The Barranquilla Group – “La Cueva”

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 1.16.39 PMFrom Wikipedia…

The Barranquilla Group was the name given to the group of writers, journalists, and philosophers who congregated in the Colombian city of Barranquilla in the middle of the twentieth century; it became one of the most productive intellectual and literary communities of the period.

Among the most influential and notable members were Gabriel García Márquez, Álvaro Cepeda Samudio, Germán Vargas, and Alfonso Fuenmayor, all of whom also comprise the fictionalized Barranquilla Group referred to as the “four friends” of Macondo in Cien Años de Soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) (1967), by García Márquez. They were all journalists at the onset of the informal group, working mostly for El Nacional, El Heraldo, and El Universal; most were also novelists and poets, often publishing their own literary work in the hitherto-mentioned newspapers. Another “itinerant” member, as García Márquez refers to him in his memoir, Vivir para contarla (Living to Tell the Tale) (2002), was José Félix Fuenmayor, the father of Alfonso, who was also a journalist, as well as an acclaimed poet and novelist. Referring to the group in his memoir, García Márquez writes

Never did I feel, as I did in those days, so much a part of that city and the half-dozen friends who were beginning to be known as the Barranquilla Group in the journalistic and intellectual circles of the country. They were young writers and artists who exercised a certain leadership in the cultural life of the city, guided by the Catalan master Don Ramón Vinyes, a legendary dramatist and bookseller who had been consecrated in the Espaca Encyclopedia since 1924.

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The Youtube-based documentary that retraced the history of the Barranquilla Group and their hang-out spot, La Cueva, was taken down some years ago, but I found what seems to be another documentary (ES) on the Group here (there’s a video download link on the page, too).

Cashing in on the .Co domain names

“The opportunity for us is to become the platform of choice for entrepreneurs around the world,” said Juan Diego Calle, chief executive of .CO Internet, a company based in Miami that operates the “.co” registry under license from the Colombian government. “To do that, we want to build massive awareness.”
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For financially struggling governments, the sale of country code domain names is a boon. Colombia, for example, gets 25 percent of the revenue from sales of the “.co” name under its deal with .CO Internet. Last year, the company generated a total of $20 million from the sale of “.co” domains; this year, that is expected to rise to more than $30 million, Mr. Calle said.

More than 600,000 “.co” addresses have been sold, in more than 200 countries, he said. Only about 20,000 of those are actually from Colombia, with the most interest coming from the United States and Europe.

The company predicts that the total number of “.co” registrations will rise to five million within five years. Mr. Calle was hoping for a surge of interest after a prominent marketing pitch over the weekend. During the Super Bowl, the world’s largest domain name registrar, Go Daddy, highlighted “.co” in an advertisement. The spot, as is typical of the company’s TV ads, featured the “Go Daddy girls” in tight T-shirts and hot pants. But this time, Joan Rivers was one of them. Before the game, Go Daddy said it planned to introduce a new member of the team, a “ ‘.co’ girl.”

While some country codes have had a hard time attracting anything other than niche interest, analysts say the Colombian suffix may have a better chance to rival “.com” because the letters “co” are recognized in many languages as an abbreviation for “company” and are not merely seen as an abbreviation for the country’s name.

“As long as it doesn’t become well known that it’s just a bastardization of the country code for Colombia, it could take off,” said Josh Bourne, managing partner of FairWinds Partners, which advises firms on the use of domain names.” – NYT

Banacol multinational invades Chocó communities

“Since early December, hundreds of private contractors of a multinational banana corporation have illegally invaded and occupied Afro-Colombian peace communities in the Curvaradó river basin with the intent to clear the land and actualize banana production for Banacol Inc. Their actions have been supported and assisted by local paramilitaries, army soldiers and municipal governments.

The peace communities’ collective territory is protected under the Colombia Constitution and protective measures under the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

According to documents released by the Colombian human rights organization, Intereclesial Comisión de Justicia y Paz (Justicia y Paz), Banacol Inc. is paying vulnerable people to displace equally vulnerable Afro-Colombian peace communities and grow bananas for them. Enabling Banacol Inc. to usurp protected, ancestral, sovereign territory and exploit its rich soil for profit; under the justification of nonlocal vulnerable Colombians needing residence and work.” – Colombia Reports (more here)

Afro-Colombian Rappers Vie for Grammy

“For the descendants of African slaves who populate Colombia’s poorest, most corruption-ridden corner, music has long been the most natural of distractions from a very hard life.

And so it is for ChocQuibTown, a soulful, hip-hop trio in the running for the year’s best Latin-Rock/Alternative Album at the Grammys on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. Their music is a soapbox that you dance to.

“De Donde Vengo Yo” (Where I Come From), which won Best Alternative Song at the Latin Grammys in November, is a spirited lament of the hard-luck life: multinationals and corrupt politicians get rich off gold and platinum; poor blacks get run off their land by illegal militias.

Forty-five percent of the 450,000 inhabitants of the band’s home province of Choco, which is along Colombia’s northwest coast bordering Panama, has been uprooted, while 70 percent live on less than a dollar a day. Paved streets, electricity and running water are rare.” – ABC News (more here)

Colombian Bullfights Thrive Despite Danger, Death

“At 2 p.m. sharp, thousands fill the rickety, wooden stands in Sincelejo, Colombia. When the brass bands begin to warm up, everyone knows the action is about to begin.

Suddenly, a 900-pound bull charges into a ring filled with men, and participants are gored and sometimes even killed. These bull festivals, known as Corralejas, take place in the first three months of the year. Although they are dangerous, Corralejas are embedded in Colombian culture and continue to live on. The men taunt the bull with capes, some wield sticks and others try to rope it. Twenty horsemen chase after the bull, stabbing it with long, wooden pikes. The bull fights back, sometimes killing horses.

The bull is quickly spent — bleeding and exhausted. It’s lassoed and led out. Some bulls die; others live to fight another day. Some of the men also leave the arena quite battered.” – NPR (more here, audio, too)

Ajiaco – Potato Soup

“Ajiaco is a Colombian potato soup. Although several regions of Colombia have their distinct recipe, the most famous is ajiaco santafereño, named after Santa Fé de Bogotá (the former name of Bogotá) capital of Colombia, where it is a cultural mainstay. It typically contains pieces of chicken, large chunks of corn on the cob, two or three kinds of native potatoes (tiny papas criollas that fall apart and thicken the soup, and give the soup its characteristic dark yellow color; the waxy sabanera and/or the soft pastusa), and guasca (Galinsoga parviflora), a weedy, aromatic herb common in all America that lends the dish part of its distinctive flavour.

The soup is typically served with heavy cream, capers and avocado all mixed in just before eating in the proportions each individual prefers. Ajiaco is so heavy that it is usually considered a full meal. In the highly regional Colombian cuisine, this is most representative dish of Bogotá.” – Wikipedia

Below is the video recipe for making ajiaco from the Tolima department.