Monday, June 4, 2012
though it was an interesting one for the abstracted design look it displayed, but because it was a UPV's student homage to Wifredo Lam. He is one of the most, not to say the most internationally known Cuban artist. This semester for me was a semester of research on Cuban painting of the beginning of the 20th century. Carlos Enrique, René Portocarrero, Amelia Peláez, Wifredo Lam are a few on the list I was studying.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
|Federico Garcia Lorca (public elementary school in Valencia)|
|One of the inside gardens at "Museum of Carmen"|
Saturday, March 31, 2012
I am glad there was not disturbance near my place, but this was not the case for the majority of the Spanish territory on March 29, 2012.
Article taken from "El Pais in English"
Violence breaks out in Barcelona as general strike cripples Spain
Hundreds of thousands marched on the streets of Spanish cities late Thursday to protest Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s labor reform package and austerity measures as workers across the country wrapped up a 24-hour general strike that mainly crippled the nation’s manufacturing industry and transport networks.
While fights and scuffles broke out in some cities, seas of red placards carrying the emblems of the two biggest unions, the CCOO and UGT, which represent 75 percent of the nation’s workers, had filled the streets across Spain by early evening.
Barcelona saw the worst violence when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at unruly protestors, who were trying to gather in Plaza Cataluyna. Some demonstrators threw rocks and burned debris on the streets surrounding the square, and vandalized several local bank branches. A group of youths with their faces covered looted one nearby store after breaking in. In Vitoria, two police officers were slightly injured after protestors also threw rocks and bottles at an anti-riot squad.
By press time, at least 60 people had been arrested across Spain.
With unemployment running at 23 percent, and massive cuts being made to social services, protestors say they believe that Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) government must fine-tune his labor reform package.
This was taken from http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/03/29/inenglish/1333048336_439721.html
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Pure agitation is the lightest feeling one gets in Valencia when March arrives. It was the first week of March; I was crossing the street going to the art store, when all of a sudden I heard what it seemed to be firearms shots. I got very scared especially when some days before there were confrontations on the streets between kids from a high school and police men due to the fact that the city had cut the power and water of their school. I went straight home the quickest I could. Seating on the leaving room and almost out of breath I told Alberto (my roommate) what just happened. He was of course laughing and at the same time trying to let me know that “Fallas” had begun.
Fallas means torch in the medieval Valencian, and is a huge tradition here. Several acts of celebration get together from the 1st day of March to be part of it. Fallas are known to be a motive to honor Saint Joseph for the father’s day in Spain is the 19th of March. People of all ages are constantly igniting firecrackers on the street all day long. This was what I heard when going to the art store that day. From the 1st until the 19th of March the City Hall organizes the “Mascleta”. Masclet is a valencian word than means firecracker and “Mascleta” is the act of igniting hundreds of these firecrackers in the center of the city for about 10 minutes. I am putting up a video of the Mascleta so you can take a look of the size of this event. You should watch the whole length of the video for the explosions increment the more time passes.
The humongous sculptures you see in the pictures are called “Fallas”. Artists are working all year long building these Fallas to show them to the public for only 5 days. Every Falla, typically has a theme, and many of them take the opportunity to make a critic of the social or political system of the country.Virgin Mary is also part of this celebration. In the Virgin’s Square a very tall wooden structure with the Virgin’s head and Jesus in her arms is built so that the falleras go there with flowers and adorn the wooden structure making it look like a huge flower dress when is done. Here is a link with pictures where you can see this beautiful act. http://www.fallas.com/index.php/es/component/content/article/161-marzo-2012/9673-qflores-desde-el-corazonq. I am also putting up a video is this oblation.
On Father’s day, the 19th of March, everything ends in a very peculiar way. Fallas are all burned down. There are more than 700 of these in the whole province. This forms part of the tradition from its beginnings, where people instead of making these elaborate sculptures, used to take their old furniture and make a pile outside their houses to burn them. This meant renovation, purification.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Requena is a small town in the province of Valencia located an hour way from my place. Recent archeology studies have found evidence of sculptures and ceramic pieces that date form the 7th century B.C. I am glad had the opportunity to visit this town or village as its citizens call it. Every year Requena organizes “The Fair of Sausages”. Sausages (embutidos in Spanish) are very famous in Spain and have a very long tradition. Mentioning Spain and not talking about sausages makes no sense. My friend Vanessa and her husband took me to this fair so I would live the experience. When we got there, at the entrance we had to buy at a moderate price a certain amount of tickets the fair provided to go from kiosk to kiosk to get different types of sausages. There were around 15 private sausage kiosks and every vendor was offering his/her best sausages. There were also kiosks offering white and red wine that one could also get with the ticket bought. The fair was full of people and there were really big lines to get these sausages. The experience was of course unique and at the end I could not only have a taste of the fair but the sausages as well.
After resting a bit from this lunch we decided to head to an underground world in the same town of Requena. In the 7th century there were a good amount of Arabs living in Requena, all in one common area. They made huge caves underneath their houses to use as their refuge due to the different wars and as storage for wine, oil and water. I was able to see the enormous pots they made for storage and it was captivating.
Alejandro Simon (FSU/MFA candidate) from Valencia, Spain.