Join us | únete a Hola Cultura para un mejor 2015

Estimados Amigos + Friends,

HappyNewY2smThis was a big year for Hola Cultura. We received independent nonprofit designation, revamped our website, mentored local student reporters, and provided a spotlight for dozens of Latino artists and other creative achievers. But it’s only with your help that we’ll be able to keep honoring Latino artistic expressions, ensuring they get the attention they deserve.

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Film: “The Other Barrio,” a neo-negro gentrification story

“Don’t get me wrong; the city is a beautiful place. But where I live, it’s truly a different barrio.”

(Leer abajo en español)
A011_C007_0713O1“The Other Barrio,” a neo-noir crime drama directed by Dante Betteo, where “nothing is as it seems,” is a film of many levels. There’s the drama of Roberto Morales (Richard Montoya), a housing inspector trying to solve the mystery behind a fire that killed seven people in a building he inspected himself. Morales quickly finds himself entangled in a web of political intrigue and corruption that him and those around him in danger. However, on another more subtle level, the film also tackles the issues of gentrification in San Francisco’s Mission District.

It’s a “fictionalized account of real events” based on a short story of the same name, written by San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguía, who co-wrote the film along with Betteo and Montoya. Another work by Murguía, the nonfiction book, “The Medicine of Memory: A Mexica Clan in California,” reconstructs the Chicano and Indigenous history of California, highlighting the Nicaraguan Solidarity movement of the 1970s. Both works encapsulate the main focus of the movie: the increased migration of wealthy, white Anglos into predominantly Latino neighborhoods continues to displace those native to the area and make it harder for communities to sustain themselves. Continue reading


Film: Brazilian “Cruzamentos” series continues at NGA through the end of the month

What do “Socorro Nobre,” “Uma noite em 67,” and “Cabra Marcado para Morrer” have in common? All three are Brazilian documentaries, but at first, few other similarities to come to mind.

“Uma noite em ’67” (A Night in ’67) is about the Brazilian Popular Music Festival of the 1960s and its impact, not only on Brazilian pop culture but on the global music scene. “Cabra Marcado para Morrer” (20 Years Later) details the long, arduous process of filming a movie about João Pedro Teixeira, who led the resistance of the mill workers in northern Brazil. “Socorro Nobre” is about freedom and new beginnings across social classes and racial lines. On some level, however, all three documentaries tackle issues of freedom and identity.

They are part of the National Gallery of Art’s Cruzamentos winter film series. The lineup includes more than 30 contemporary Brazilian documentaries and short films made between the 1970s and today. Cruzamentos, Portuguese for “crossroads,” also has a more poetic definition: “hybridity.” The word refers as much to the intersecting themes of the films in the series as the interplay between Brazilian and international film worlds. Playing at the National Gallery of Art through Feb. 28, the series is a sort of conversation between Brazilian cinema and contemporary international cinema, allowing audiences to familiarize themselves with their traditions and history.

Cruzamentos continues through the end of February. Admission: Free.
Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.:“Socorro Nobre” followed by the Oscar-nominated 1998 feature film, “Central Station,” both by the renown Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles. For the full schedule click here.

—Airica Thomas


Teatro Gala: Los Empeños de una Casa

empeNosCasa2Hugo Medrano y su equipo teatral han hecho una gran adaptación y montaje de la comedia de enredos del siglo de oro (XVII) “Los empeños de una casa” de la escritora mexicana Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Esta nueva versión, se vale de música vernácula, vestuarios, y escenografía de la Época de oro del cine mexicano (1930-1950). Cuando el cine mexicano se convirtió en el centro de las películas comerciales de Latinoamérica y el mundo de habla hispana. Esta faena no fue nada fácil, ya que del texto original se eliminaron la loa introductoria, dos sainetes y un sarao que eran parte del festejo palacial para celebrar el nacimiento del hijo de los virreyes de la Nueva España. Se conserva básicamente el texto de la obra pero con ingeniosos cambios. Continue reading


Tributo a José Emilio Pacheco (1939-2014)

pachecoJEEl tributo fue organizado por el Departamento de Español y Portugués y la Escuela de Literatura y Culturas de la Universidad de Maryland, en colaboración con el Instituto Cultural de México. El profesor Saúl Sosnowski reflexionó sobre su relación con José Emilio y la labor de ambos en la Universidad de Maryland. José Emilio trabajó allí por algo como dos décadas (1985-2005). Trabajó por un semestre al año, impartiendo un taller literario y un seminario de postgrado. El profesor Hernán Sánchez Martínez de Pinillos, reflexionó sobre la obra poética de José Emilio. En ella se destacan tres características en su pensamiento crítico; su visión de la naturaleza y la ampliación de la lírica. Destacó que José Emilio siempre cuestionó las ideologías, el capitalismo post-industrial, y la destrucción de la naturaleza. En un primer video, el escritor y ex-vicepresidente de Nicaragua, Sergio Ramírez Mercado, habló de su relación  profesional y amistad con José Emilio. En el Segundo video se mostraron los lugares favoritos de José Emilio Pacheco en Maryland. Se recitaron varios poemas del autor: “La sal”, Ciudad de la memoria por María Cristina Monsalve; “Ley de extranjería”, El silencio de la luna por Ginette Alomar-Eldredge; “Ulan Bator”, La arena errante por José Alfredo Contreras; “La plegaria del alba”, La ciudad de las tinieblas por Melissa González-Contreras; y “Presencia”, Los elementos de la noche por Roberto Carlos Pérez. Finalmente la viuda de José Emilio, la escritora y periodista  Cristina Pacheco, comentó que a José Emilio no le hubiera gustado la palabra “homenaje”. La popular periodista que conduce desde 1980 el programa de televisión “Conversando con Cristina Pacheco” -con más de mil transmisiones ininterrumpidas.  En el programa ha entrevistado quien es quien en la cultura mexicana, pero nunca entrevistó a José Emilio. Después de su muerte, muchos de los televidentes le preguntaron porque nunca había entrevistado a su marido. José Emilio le hizo una promesa que sería en la última persona que entrevistaría en dicho programa, sin embargo el escritor falleció antes el 26 de del 2014. Al homenaje asistieron las hijas del escritor Cecilia y Laura Emilia Pacheco, profesores y ex-alumnos del distinguido escritor. (Instituto Mexicano de Cultura. 17 de febrero, 2015)

*Los libros de Jose Emilio Pacheco y Cristina Pacheco se encuentran a la venta en la libreria Portico de Washington DC.

-Roman A. Santillan

Composer Alberto Ginastera honored in special carnival concert Tuesday

An Argentine Carnival Gala
This coming Tuesday marks one of the world’s most popular annual celebrations, the big party that precedes forty days of Lent in the Roman Catholic tradition. While Brazil’s colorful mega-party in the streets of Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans’ Mardi Gras may be the most famous, similar carnival celebrations take place in more than 40 countries each year—including here in Washington, D.C., where the Washington Chorus will mark the occasion with a special gala performance at the Organization of American States’ headquarters.
Carnival in San Telmo, Buenos Aires by Ole Gunnar Onsøien, CCL

Carnival in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, by Ole Gunnar Onsøien, Creative Commons License

The Bacchanalian festivities historically served as a day of freedom before the austerity of lent, a time for all to eat plentifully and make reserves before embarking on 40 days of abstinence. Today the Carnival doesn’t hold as much religious meaning as it used to; it’s now often seen an opportunity to explore the different ways cultures celebrate life (as well as help boost nation’s economies through tourism). In Venice, for instance, masquerades attract people from around the world while the brass bands in New Orleans keep the city swinging well into Ash Wednesday. The Goa Carnival in India, meanwhile, is one of the celebrations with the biggest variety of religions and customs thanks to its mix of Hindu and Catholic religions in this sub-continent that was once under Portuguese rule. Besides New Orleans, revelers in France, Senegal and Belgium observe “Fat Tuesday”, otherwise known as “Mardi Gras.” In 2003, the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) declared Colombia’s Baranquilla’s carnival one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Elsewhere in Latin America and Spain, nearly every town celebrates Carnival with family or neighborhood gatherings. Competitions for Queen of the Festival are as traditional as the music, which can range from Cumbia to Samba to Flamenco or Jazz.

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Teatro: Sor Juana mas vigente que nunca/Romantic comedy that endures

Los Empeños de una Casa

Las obras maestras no pasan de moda. Tal es el caso de “Los Empeños de una Casa”, de quien está considerada la primera feminista de América, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, que se presenta en el Teatro GALA.

They say masterpieces never go out of style. And so it is with “House of Desires,” the new play at GALA Hispanic Theatre, written several centuries ago by a Mexican nun consider one of the world’s first feminists. (READ THIS STORY IN ENGLISH BELOW)

¿Cuándo empezó el “Feminismo”? Es difícil precisar el nacimiento de un movimiento ahora tan significativo, pero una sus precursoras es Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Autora, dramaturga, poeta, intelectual… y monja, que si bien era una de las mujeres más admiradas y deseadas en la corte virreinal por su inteligencia y sagacidad, decidió ir en contra de la corriente del siglo XVII y abogar por la igualdad entre hombres y mujeres. Continue reading