Session 0A | Oct 26, 2015
I introduce you what we, back in Venezuela, call “Barrio”. These are the “shantytowns” where thousands of Venezuelans live. I’m used to see this view, to be surrounded by extreme poverty while very few of us are privilege to have been born in a different reality. I’ve learn to love this view and to comprehend its beauty. It’s beautiful because not everybody can understand what it really means. It’s a view were you see hope in people’s life that are filled with negative circumstances, smiles on a place where everybody has reasons to be crying and an ugly reality loaded with beautiful people.
It’s beautiful also for its shape, maybe reminding us of a theatre where all its pieces come together in what it seems to be a coherent way. But what happens under those little boxes is what truly describes this place. Not even me that I was born and raised in Venezuela, would ever understand what is to live there. Maybe only someone who wakes up under a zinc roof and a dusty floor will know what the true play under the theatre is.
Once again we have my country, Venezuela, as the protagonist. This picture catches our eye as we see what it seems to be a calm city in a normal evening but the truth behind the stillness of the place is that countless murders and robberies happen on this main avenue every day. We see Caracas in this picture as the beautiful city but its beauty is not something that separates us from suffering and struggling against its ugly reality.
The same serenity we see in this picture is the one we want to see in the 24.763 families that had to say good bye to some relative that was victim of the violence.
Is inevitable to get captivated by this landscape , by the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall and and by its natural beauty. How is this supposed to be ugly? Its not. With this picture I want to talk about something else, about water. When seeing this picture lots of us will think about water, about a big glass of cold water on a hot day. But not all of us will think about how lucky we are of getting home and having that glass of water we imagined. But, I can guarantee, the drop of the water we waste when we take a shower or those two seconds we lost while we washed our hands will mean gold to millions of people around the world that don`t have the opportunity to enjoy what we take for granted.
Let’s take conscious about this issue and, above that, let’s be aware on how lucky we are on arriving home and even having two types of water- cold and hot- to choose from.
A beautiful and enormous city that, this time, it shows us its greatness from the heights. We see Caracas from above, and again we like what we see without thinking much about it. The beauty is in that first time we see the picture but if we take a second to observe it we can appreciate what truly is. Two halves, that’s what we see. One with big buildings and the other with small and dense shanty houses.
A country divided in two is not a true country; a country with two teams is not a country. A different future will not start until we have one country without divisions or boundaries.
This is one of the most important spaces of Caracas: the main hall in the most important theatre of the country. Another space were we will need to see beyond its architecture to understand why I qualified it as beautifully ugly. I consider this space as something beautiful, what I see as ugly are all the talented minds Venezuela have that are locked behind the bars of a jail, or the students in schools with terrible conditions; those millions of voices silenced by the government or the musicians without opportunities to follow their passion.
I couldn’t be prouder of where I was born and all of the people that live there. That is why I took this occasion to talk for all of those that don’t have the same opportunities as I do.