[translation] As long as we are on TV

Yesterday, HiperBarrio project appeared on a national Television show called “Camino al Barrio”, or road to the Barrio. That same morning, a landslide swept away homes and lives in a neighboring community.

Akenaton was incensed at the attitudes of the people in his community in the face of recent events. Community leaders included, when they had to choose between assisting victims of that morning's deadly landslides in the El Socorro neighborhood or appearing on Television, guess what was their choice. He writes:

I'm not taking to the task of telling you what happened yesterday May 31st in the area of San Pedro here in La Loma; that will be done by others, some more sensationalist, other more objective, alas.

The thing is that death and tragedy, in the form of mud, went on a little tour around La Loma, and in their travels they stumbled on the neighboring barrio of “El Socorro”.

The event coincided with the coming to our hamlet of the show “Road to the Barrios” of Telemedellín, which was precisely coming up here to talk about disasters in this winter season. [Ed. note: winter in the tropics means rainy season]

That event seemed to eclipse all the attention of the La Loma community.

“What gives if several people in San Pedro drowned in yellow mudslides. Telemedellín is coming, lets head over there and see if we appear in TV.”

The community leaders, who should've been at the catastrophe's site, planning on what will be done with the homeless, the dead, and with the terrified community; preferred to go to the church area to spread the fetid smells from their lying mouths over the black foam covered microphones of the “Camino al Barrio” program, talking about projects, dreams, past and future. What about the present!

Who cares about the Paniagua band in comparison with this colossal tragedy?

Who cares about the “sainete”, the music and the theatre… WHO ON EARTH!

I am an artist, but I would never put talking about art in front of taking care of lives and lamenting deaths.

In the program, they only made a glancing mention to the tragedy. Only Beatriz Paniagua (great woman) tried in her interventions to make the event recurrent, but the incompetent program presenters (since my dog would be a better presenter than them) immediately veered off the subject.

There were some, who with all enthusiasm, saw in the tragedy an opportunity to become populars, and they went immediately with their photographic cameras to register the tragedy, to later show it like some animal in a circus.

Damn those pictures!

Although some of those who went off to take pictures are esteemed friends, I will not cease to reproach them their coldness. A tragedy is not an opportunity to be recognized.

Who cares who publishes the tragedy! Tragedy is tragedy, instead of showing and exposing it we should start thinking how to help!

Although this post will not provide options to help, neither will the pictures. Next time you want to invite me to something, let it be to help, not photograph death to later show it to inspire false pity.

If our neighboring brothers die, if they stay without a home, if La Loma falls to pieces, if we worry more about a stupid show hardly anyone watches or to take pictures of the dead in the most miserable way, we don't deserve the title of civic people, of well meaning citizens, of human beings.

And if this post turns out to be insulting or aggressive, So be it! That's the intention. To see if people wake up from this sharp lethargy that has them thinking only of the possibility of being famous or popular, exposing tragedies or appearing on television.

I can't help but feel invaded by deep indignation faced with these people and what they do. Faced with inefficient leaders and useless commiseration.

3 thoughts on “[translation] As long as we are on TV

  1. Pingback: Weekly Newsletter » Blog Archive » Newsletter: 6/2 - 6/6

  2. Pingback: El Oso » Blog Archive » [Rising Voices] Landslides, Poetry, Life, Death, and Paramilitarists

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *