sábado, 23 de março de 2013

Farewell to Chinua Achebe

March 22nd, 2013, 82 years old, the "Grandfather of African Literature", eminent Nigerian writer, Chinha Achebe dies in Boston, USA. He still held a chair as a professor at Brown Univeristy, in Providence, Rhode Island. For those, like myself, who admire his work as a fiction writer, poet, and essayist, it is a terrible loss. But people like Achebe don't die. Their legacy remains forever. Very well-known for his first novel "Things Fall Apart", Achebe sold millions of books and his work was translated into more than 50 languages. To me, one of his most memorable texts is "The African writer and the English language", published in 1975. There is one excerpt that I am in love with for Achebe's sobriety: "I feel that the English language will be able to carry the weight of my African experience. But it will have to be a new English, still in full communion with its ancestral home but al­tered to suit its new African surroundings", cited by a lot of writers and reserachers who are interested in the political and ideological consequences of the global spread of the English language. I salute Achebe! I say farewell to him, but I'm sure he'll be around still teaching the world how to deal with tolerance and mutual understanding through his wonderful literature. Farewell, Mr. Achebe. Farewell. 

segunda-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2012

Um ano que se vai... outro que vem...

Chegamos ao fim de 2012. Puxa, foi um ano muito bom. Passamos com saúde, não temos do que reclamar. Mantivemos a nossa sanidade, vivemos as nossas pequenas conquistas, soubemos enxugar as nossas lágrimas, buscar enfrentar as surpresas plantadas pela vida, acima de tudo, com muita dignidade. Não temos do que nos queixar. Neste ano especial, estive na Turquia, tive o privilégio de conhecer um pouco de um povo e de um país surpreendentes, com seus luxos, suas mazelas e suas humanidades. Quem passa por uma cidade como Istambul, por exemplo, não volta incólume jamais. A foto acima já diz tudo. A riqueza histórico-cultural daquela que um dia chamou-se Bizâncio, passou a chamar-se Constantinopla, sempre marcada por enredos históricos mirabolantes, veio, enfim, chamar-se Istambul, após a acensão do império otomano. Uma cidade colorida, onde coloridas diferenças se encontram e ali convivem em certa harmonia. Voltei diferente daquele lugar. Ao fechar este ano de 2012, deixo Istambul aqui na lembrança. Certamente, tenho tantas outras. 2013 está nascendo e o que posso pedir? Nada, além de saúde e paz e que outros caminhos se abram para a gente poder partir e sempre regressar. Happy new year! Nada mais!

quarta-feira, 28 de novembro de 2012

Here's to you, Lisbon

View from the Santa Justa Elevator-Chiado

Lisbon has always been an exciting city. I get to Lisbon and I find a chilly and rainy city, but as the hours go by, the blue skies of Lisbon, so familiar to me, began to open and illuminate my eyes and my spirit. Naturally, the most common topic here is the European crisis, the problems people are having, the cuts in pensions and important social rights long acquired. Other than this, life goes on in Lisbon. Charming, lots of tourists, good food, and a chaotic organization that makes us, Brazilians, envy Lisbon's dwellers. But, I'm here not to copy or mime, but to savor whatever Lisbon offers me. History, new friends, long and wonderful walks around the historical sites which, naturally, take me to the historical Salvador. Lisbon will always be here. Bright and sunny, and usual, even in November, the month of chilly days. Lisbon. Great being here!

domingo, 4 de novembro de 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, Magary Lord

My state of Bahia, Brazil, keeps surprising me all the time. In many areas, but arts and music, it seems to be unbeatable in revealing new talents. Our new name "on the block" is Magary Lord. This 36-year-old Afro-Brazilian born and raised in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Salvador has become global. Recently known for the African rhythms, especially Angola's black semba, the man makes us all dance. Magary or Francisco Pereira Chagas, got his artistic name from the character of one of his favorite Japanese series, MacGaren, and the surname Lord given by his father in honor to the lords from England. At least this is what records say. Anyway, I have been to one of his shows and I just loved his dance, his character, his beat, his charisma. He was "the man" last Carnival in Bahia, and now is enjoying a lot of his well-deserved success. A regular partner of Seu Jorge's, the fantastic "carioca" pop star, Magary is one of those great talents that make us believe our sources are indeed infinite. Whether we like him or not, everybody is singing "Billy Jean, Billy Jean, my love", and "Circulou, circulou, circulou, é tão maravilhoso o nosso amor". I confess I was biased, but the guy is good. Live long, Magary. The world is yours!

domingo, 22 de julho de 2012

Kiss cam and our mimetism

It's incredible the way we keep imitating what comes from other countries. In the most stupid things, we are always looking to repeat like parrots what people abroad do. This time it is something called "kiss cam" or the camera which films couples and prompts them to kiss each other. Last week, during a basketball game between Brazil and the United States, in Washington, D.C., countring with the luxurious presence of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle, the idea of kiss cam traveled the world. Obama had to kiss Michelle. And everybody applauded. It was the push we needed to do the same. This Sunday, in several Brazilian football stadiums the parroting began. Kiss cam arrived in Brazil. How original! Give me a break!

sexta-feira, 20 de julho de 2012

Nas mãos da piloto Maria

Puxa, acho que, pela primeira vez, embarquei numa aeronave pilotada por uma moça. Certamente, nada haveria de extraordinário nisso se não vivêssemos em uma sociedade ainda largamente machista e que nem sempre consolida conquistas antes negadas às mulheres. Foi um charme de voo, pela Azul, num céu azul e um lindo dia de sol nessa linda Salvador. Maria, o nome da nossa comandante, de voz forte e segura, nos conduziu pelos céus do Brasil e com total competência nos entregou em perfeita segurança no nosso destino. Lembro que não foi há muito tempo que um passageiro desclassificado armou o maior barraco num dos voos da empresa ao saber que o comando dos manetes pertencia a uma piloto. Que babaca! Elas são tão competentes e tão capazes quanto qualquer um de nós. Salve, Comandante Maria! Vida longa a essas pioneiras, rompendo fronteiras e preconceitos. Até a próxima, comandante! Bons vuelos! Blue skies always!

domingo, 3 de junho de 2012