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Analysis: Culture

In Venezuela, Music Eases Pain of Kids with Cancer

Patients receiving chemotherapy play the maracas at the JM de los Rios pediatric hospital in Caracas on September 26, 2013 (AFP/

Nine-year-old Victoria Alzuru looks earnest and determined and happy as she practices her violin before undergoing chemotherapy. 

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You Probably Didn’t Hear that Venezuela Was Again Ranked the Happiest Country in South America

(Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/Venezuelanalysis)

Why has there been so little attention to the report – and to Venezuela’s ranking in it, among the U.S. outlets that did cover it? Could it be that the gains in Venezuela over the past decade challenge the conventional wisdom routinely reported in the press that Venezuela is a mess in terms of its economic, politics and security, and which typically presents Venezuelans as unhappy?

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Dontcha Know, We’re Singing a Revolution

Hugo Chavez during the presidential campaign last year (AVN)

Gustavo Marcos Bazan, an Argentinean born Venezuelan, and member of the Latin American music for change movement Cantores de los Sueños del Alba (singers of the dreams of dawn) argues that political music is the “honest” music that helps us to keep fighting for a better world.

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Alternative Education Can Eliminate Corruption

Myriam Anzola (in blue) with the recent alternative pedagogy graduates (Leandro Irion)

Participatory education based on empowering students through their active involvement in their community is an essential tool for fighting corruption in the long term.

 

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Devaluation, Consumerism, and the Media

Venezuelans wait in line to buy Chinese Haier brand products subsidized by the Venezuelan government

In light of Venezuela’s recent currency devaluation, Venezuelan blogger and technology activist Luigino Bracci Roa argues that a change in attitudes towards consumption and technology is required.

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Cause: A New Social Network of Youth Culture in Venezuela

An event by Hip Hop Revolucion in Caracas, one of the groups supporting Cause, a new network of activists supporting alternative

David Segarra of Cause, a new network supporting alternative youth culture in Venezuela, argues that “While in Chile, Colombia, in Europe there are cuts, and in Spain university tuition fees are being made more expensive and support for cinema is being cut by 35%, here in Venezuela, fortunately, support for culture is growing”.

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In Defense of El Sistema: The Case For Radical Public Arts

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel leads an orchestra in a barrio in Caracas, Venezuela. The 28-year-old is one of El Sistema’s most su

The Bolívar Symphony Orchestra is, along with Dudamel himself, perhaps the most widely revered product of the Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar. Colloquially known as “El Sistema,” and funded entirely by the Venezuelan government the FMSB has over the past 37 years succeeded in its task of training literally hundreds of thousands of kids in classical music and technique.

 

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Britain's Most Musical Estate? Inspiration from Venezuela's Music Program

Credit: BBC

Four years ago only one child on the Raploch estate in Stirling was learning a musical instrument. There are now 450 kids who are not only playing instruments, but are part of an orchestra. The project was inspired by Venezuela's El Sistema program, and last week worked with Venezuela's Simon Bolivar Symphany Orchestra.

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José Antonio Abreu on Venezuela's El Sistema Miracle

Young students with El Sistema founder Abreu (centre) and conductor Gustavo Dudamel in Caracas, Venezuela. (Sandra Bracho/PR com

In a rare interview, El Sistema founder José Antonio Abreu talks about his passion for Venezuela's extraordinary musical programme that gives children a route out of poverty

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Rock Music: Paul Gillman Wins MTV World Poll as the Best Male Metal Voice of All Time

Paul Gillman at Gillmanfest, a metal festival he organizes annually. (Angie Gillman)

When Venezuela’s leftist president, Hugo Chávez, took power in 1999, Paul Gillman, once the scourge of the political establishment, became one of its most vocal defenders.

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Proletarian Rock and Revolutionary Music – Standing against Copyright

Jose Gabriel Alvarez, main vocalist of El Pacto (Luigino Bracci Roa)

While some musicians agree that someone should be arrested for downloading their MP3, in more civilised countries like Venezuela, artists instead feel honoured when the people know about them, and download and share their songs. 

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There is Something About El Sistema

Venezuela’s innovative “El Sistema” youth orchestra program is spreading across the United States (Paratimama)

It started in a little town in Venezuela almost 35 years ago, made its way to cities in the U.S. and is now a global phenomenon. El Sistema, which doesn't translate well, means simply "the system," a system for giving young, usually poor kids, a chance on living.

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I’m Happy in Caracas: City Culture and the Book Festival

Caracas resident Carola Chavez writes about the book fair with excitement, not to mention the taxi driver with whom she had a deep philosophical conversation, and the cleaner at the fair who loved to read, and showed her around.

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Venezuela's Hip Hop Revolutionaries

(Latin American Bureau)

First it was Venezuela's Youth Orchestra, now it is its Hip-Hop Revolución which is attracting hundreds of teenagers across the country. Not officially part of the Bolivarian Revolution, it nevertheless sees itself as part of the same movement for change.

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Mozart vs. the Gangstas: How Classical Music Is Changing Young Lives

Gangs are such a part of life in southeastern Los Angeles that Daniel Gonzalez once thought he was destined to be wrapped up in them sooner or later.

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