Art & Culture Reviews

Almodovar's ‘Julieta’ marks a change in the iconic director’s well-known style
The latest novel from Latin America's literary sensation being dubbed the Argentine Patricia Highsmith
Chilean-born artist Alfredo Jaar has caused controversy in the past with his project titled A Logo For America which originally appeared on a billboard in Times Square in the 1980s, and now it has appeared in London where it was emblazoned across the screens of Piccadilly Circus. Jaar’s work declares the words ‘This Is Not America’ across an outline of the United States and is the antithesis to Piccadilly Circus’s ad-laden billboards (frequently from companies born across the pond). It was in the Eighties and remains today a call-to-action to reclaim the term ‘America’ for the entire continent in all its diversity and vastness, an outcry against the fact that the USA claims the term for itself alone. This is a contentious issue that often outrages Latinos, with good reason – it is one of the most obvious symptoms of the USA’s latent ethnocentrism and dismissal of its southern neighbours.
Depicting the slippery nature of the past and the unreliability of memory, Juan Gabriel Vasquez' fifth novel draws a convincing portrait of the complex world of Bogotá in recent years, adding to his own reputation as one of Latin America’s most outstanding authors.
Penelope Cruz glows in Julio Medem's moving and heartfelt film
Ciro Guerra’s El abrazo de la serpiente/Embrace of the Serpent takes you on a journey into the deep Colombian Amazon, in principle with two white explorers who are in search for the sacred, psychedelic yakruna plant. Though inspired by the journals written by real-life explorers Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes, Guerra’s approach to the story of the ‘encounter’ is less one of white explorers or adventurers than that of the native Americans, whose voices we rarely hear.
With a cast made up of workers in the sex industry and actors (its not clear whom is which to preserve anonymity) this unique multimedia production written by British-Uruguyan singer and composer Alex Etchart, offers a brutally honest insight into the lives of sex workers around the world, that will no doubt leave you laughing and crying in equal measure.
The 'Solidarity' generation reunites at the latest book launch by Latin American Bureau and Practical Action. Nearly thirty years in the making, Rosa chronicles the real-life stories of a poor Nicaraguan family over a turbulent half-century.
In The Club everything is distressing. In the home for ‘repentance’ we find a chaplain who collaborated with the dictatorship, a priest accused of child abuse, another involved in illegal adoptions and a senile one who cannot remember why he is there. When a fifth brother arrives, also accused of similar crimes, the harmony breaks badly. A tragic event takes place and the church sends a younger priest, padre García, to investigate
Using the poetic language that has become a trademark of the famed Chilean director, this sequel to his multi-awarded Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgia for the Light, 2010) explores both small detail and big historical processes to produce a radical critique of dominant Chilean – and arguably Western - politics, which consists of the extermination of those who create problems.