Sábado, 11 de abril de 2009

Standing in the packed courtroom annex as a Supreme Court panel this week sentenced the former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori to 25 years in prison for two massacres and two kidnappings, I had mixed emotions. As a human rights advocate who has pressed for Mr. Fujimori to be tried, I rejoiced in this once unthinkable moment. Sitting next to me were relatives of massacre victims, listening solemnly to a verdict that took over three hours to read.

At the same time, I worried that people would forget how we got here. Mr. Fujimori was widely embraced for bringing order to our country.…  Seguir leyendo »

Con ocasión del centenario del Manifiesto Futurista se han organizado muchas exposiciones para recordar y revalorizar este movimiento. En Italia ha sido motivo de polémica la forma en que la exposición de París considera a los futuristas, como epígonos del cubismo, mientras que las diferentes exposiciones italianas intentan subrayar su originalidad y diversidad. Entre todas las exposiciones, me parece que sobresale, por diversos motivos, la del Palacio Real de Milán. No recuerdo qué periódico, al hacer la reseña, se quejaba de que faltaban los grandes incunables del movimiento, esto es, el Dinamismo de un jugador de balompié, de Boccioni, o los Funerales por el anarquista Galli, de Carr, pero creo que es algo que no debería molestar, y no porque sean obras que ya se han expuesto muchas veces, sino porque la exposición permite ver algo más y mejor.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pocos días después de los asesinatos en el Ulster, los irlandeses hacían algo que saben hacer muy bien y que es muy sano: reírse de sí mismos. En la Opera House de Belfast se representaba The history of the troubles, accodin' to my Da (La historia de los conflictos, según mi padre), de Martin Lynch, un autor local, en la que se ironiza sobre la parte más sórdida de los seres humanos al más puro estilo de Sean O'Casey o de tantos otros dramaturgos irlandeses. La obra, que ha agotado entradas y ha recibido aplausos en pie, empieza en 1969, cuando Gerry Courtney, un católico de un barrio obrero, espera en el hospital de Belfast el nacimiento de su hijo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Most American Catholics were well acquainted with poverty even before the stock market crash of 1929. My mother quit school after eighth grade to add a wage to the family income. Later, she supported my father as he went to night school. Like millions of Catholics, their faith was a source of meaning and dignity at a time when both were in short supply.

The Depression stamped them for life. Born into the aftermath, I was shaped by those years as well. During these past weeks, I’ve worried that we might be facing an unexpected replay of our parents’ and grandparents’ economic distress.…  Seguir leyendo »

The cathedral church of Sefwi-Wiawso, set on the top of a hill in a remote part of western Ghana, looks out over miles of what was once forest. The land from here and across the border to nearby Ivory Coast is where the majority of the world's chocolate comes from. The chances are the chocolate in your Easter egg comes from somewhere nearby. But in order to produce more chocolate, vast areas of the forest have been hacked down and converted to cocoa production, with the result that much of the good soil is washed away when the rain comes.

There are echoes here of past miseries.…  Seguir leyendo »

Private Eye ran a cartoon some years ago of St Peter standing in front of Jesus's Cross and saying to the other Disciples: “It's time to put this behind us now and move on.” It was a satire not on Christian belief, but on politicians and counsellors, and their trivialising mantras. It depended on Jesus's death being not just an odd, forgettable event - and that it was His Resurrection, rather than a shoulder- shrugging desire to “move on”, that got the early Christians going.

Easter was the pilot project. What God did for Jesus that explosive morning is what He intends to do for the whole creation.…  Seguir leyendo »