Venezuelan poet Luis Delgado Arria interviewed

This video calls itself a:

2004 documentary on the impact of financial neo-liberalism on Latin America and other parts of the world and what Hugo Chavez is doing to stop its spread in Venezuela.

From British daily The Morning Star:

The poetry of resistance

(Tuesday 23 December 2008)

Interview: Venezuelan poet and critic LUIZ DELGADO ARRIA talks to JOHN GREEN and MICHAL BONCZA about the myriad changes that have allowed popular poetry to truly flourish in his country.

Poetry has always played a central and important role in Latin American culture and Venezuela is no exception, explains Venezuelan poet and renowned literary critic Luis Delgado Arria.

In the past, though, the expression of the people’s aspirations, daily lives and thinking through poetry was largely suppressed or at best marginalised, first by the Spanish Conquistadors and later by the so-called democratic governments.

The elites who dominated successive governments looked to European models and even most poets and intellectuals followed in the footsteps of the European avant garde, ignoring the rich experience of their own peoples.

Dr Arria, who is the research co-ordinator at the Venezuelan magazine Revista Poliética, covering politics and ethics, hold the view that the poetry of oppression in Venezuela began with the systematic eradication of much of the underlying elements of religious symbolism which blossomed before the arrival of Columbus and the Christianity of “sword and fire.”

This suppression of indigenous culture continued throughout the colonial period and into the period of independence and during the cycle of civil wars that led to continuous blood-letting well into the 20th century. Nevertheless, during all this extended period, the symbolic poetic resistance of the indigenous cultures, cultures of Afro-Americans and their mixture with elements of popular European cultures was always there, if generally in veiled form, where the celebrations and customs of popular religiosity are often superimposed on the official culture and religion of the Conquistadors.

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