Write, women, write!

Translated  by Katrina Hassan Girls are given dolls so that an early age they learn their place in society. Their place, to give birth and care for children. Children that will eventually become sons, brothers, grandkids, nephews, boyfriends, lovers, companions, husbands.   Whatever the grade of kinship may be, women’s function in society is to be mothers. Mothers in all the patriarchal context; that being, cease to exist just to serve others. Boys are given toy guns and cars, so they can take to the streets. They know that wars are made up of the male gender. Can it be? Very rarely…

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Hayashi Fumiko’s Resistance 

Translated  by Katrina Hassan “If this book influences today’s youth, dragged deep in poverty, in-tranquility, and need, to keep living, there would be nothing that brings me more joy.’’  This is the ending to the preface of  Hayashi Fumiko’s Diary of a Vagabond book written in 1939. Published initially in instalments in 1928 & 1930.  Her diary was written between 1922 and 1927. We shall estimate she was between 18 to 23 years old. This was when pain, misery and social exclusion ripped her skin off in pieces. She went through an infinity of badly paid jobs on her way to being a powerful…

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Like Sewer Rodents

Translated  by Katrina Hassan The day of the year doesn’t matter, neither does the weather. Even if it is pouring rain, they are always there. From dusk until dawn, breaking their back.  Their bodies, a work tool, and their means of survival. It doesn’t matter if they think or feel. If they ask themselves what time it is. A clock, for the exploited worker, never stops ticking. It matters not that they have blisters or a toothache. No matter if a relative died, or if their child is born. They are always there. Breaking their backs. They are never seen as a  person. On…

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The Solitude of the Ixil People

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  When listening to Luna de Xelajú, the chirimía and the tum, or when marveling at the gigantic kites of Santiago Sacatepéquez we experience a feeling of nostalgia. When the aboriginal peoples’ multicolored clothes leave us speechless, stunned, suddenly a certain something takes hold of us, akin to a kind of pride for a multicultural Guatemala; it’s what we export: something called folklore. The indigenous peoples are used for that, to be the folklore of Guatemala before the world. Those designs embroidered on pieces of clothing worn by the indigenous peoples are seen in blankets, napkins, wallets,…

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The Cream of the Crop

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  They made us believe that progress is in cement; that cement is progress. They made us believe that industrialization means prosperity of societies. That in order to industrialize, deforestation has to be ruthlessly implemented and entire peoples destroyed: stealing their water, land, food and any vital means of subsistence. These peoples, we were told, do not matter, and if they resist, they must be eliminated by sheer repression, that’s the reason of genocides that afflict the collective memory. They told us that civilization is a necessary concept for the survival of humanity, and that we the…

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Dead on the Inside They Migrate to Die a Thousand Times

Translated  by Marvin Najarro    The most visible imprint of the dictatorships imposed by the United States in Latin America can be seen every day in the thousands of migrants who are forced to leave their own countries trying to save their lives, and obtain shelter and food in the United States, which is presented by the experts in deception as the mecca, as the water that quench thirst; like the dreamland where all dreams come true.   A Latin America impoverished by post dictatorship neoliberal governments, made up of corrupt and mobs of looters who have created drug and…

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What patriarchy owes Evita

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  Since humanity’s early days, history has been trampled on by patriarchal, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, classist, and xenophobic beings and, in the particular case of Latin America, colonized minds have been in charge of disregarding women like Evita who never fit into the patriarchal yoke, and who were never seduced by the honey of power, and on the contrary, were their greatest critics. Evita is the poetry of the rebellion of the peoples. The patriarchy, which knows no ideology places her in history as a passionate being; it has never seen her as an intellectual being with…

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Ilka Oliva Corado: I only looking for the readers to approach my books

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  By Mariela Castañón, diario La Hora  The Guatemalan writer Ilka Oliva Corado, who currently resides in Chicago, announced her new project: an “artisanal publishing house”, which consists in the edition and binding of her own books, using basic resources, with the sole objective of bringing readers closer to her books. Ilka, an enterprising woman, also opens space to other authors, who have been denied the publication of their texts. In an interview with La Hora Voz del Migrante, she explains the details of her project. LH Voz del Migrante: What is Ilka publishing house? Ilka Oliva: Well,…

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Lula: A Spring of Millions

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  In 1958, the chronicler and poet of the favela, Carolina Maria de Jesus was discovered almost by chance and in her own habitat; she dedicated herself to portray in her diary her day to day life in the favelas of Brazil: A harsh reality, of misery, abuse, exclusion and, a reality, too, of dreams, loyalty and sheer love. Little known in Latin America, Carolina Maria de Jesus captured in her writings the essence of the Brazilian slums; the same which in a display of rapturous love have taken to the streets to defend a worker who…

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