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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The Resistance of the Saffron

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  They think that there is no spirit left, that they have been able to pulverize the yearnings, and uprooted the saffron from the field. They think they have left the trees barkless, helpless on eroded land. They believe that everything is an avalanche. But every wild cypress tree, sprouting up in the rocks, shows them the opposite. They think that they have silenced the song of the goldfinch, but the flocks crossing the horizon show them that there are trills impossible to kill and that there are beauties and dazzling liberties that no hatred can obscure.

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The Neglect of South Chicago

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  South Chicago is a symbol of decay; it is a great city collapsing, deteriorated streets, buildings about to collapse on the heads of the tenants who, in their vast majority are Afro descendants and undocumented Latin Americans: Mexicans and Central Americans badly paid, exploited in their jobs, stigmatized and constantly harassed by police. South Chicago seems like a science fiction movie; those futuristic movies that show the end of humanity. Very similar to the decay of the border towns between Mexico and the United States where the only things that abound there are bullets, bars, kidnappings,…

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Winter as the Season of Serenity and Strengthening

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  During the winter the sky wraps itself in a grayish tone, and the dense clouds descend to wander the streets of the big city; an icy haze that causes the disenchanted passers-by to regret that season they call bad weather. The mood is low, flu picks up, and depression becomes the malady of the season. People are often seen cursing the cold wind, the accumulated snow, the gray days, and the thick flakes when it starts to snow. In their anger, they are unable to enjoy the magic that nature gives them: an impressive spectacle that…

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Amnesic Generations

Translated  by Marvin Najarro  What is taking place in Latin America right now should be of vital importance for the amnesic generations, in other words, all those people under forty. Anyone born during the dictatorships, or later, has been injected with the gene of ignorance and collective amnesia. We belong to the generation of denial. We are the product of a plan based on that aim: to create defeated generations, unfit, inept, egotistical, consumerist and impervious; wimps in the full extent of the word. We have been distracted with the crass because of our inability to think, of asking ourselves,…

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