It has always puzzled me how many of my peers have been to more countries than they have states. America is a beautiful place to me, because I have fun, family, and friends in small towns, big cities, collegetowns, suburbs, on the coasts, and places in between. Everywhere is fair game to visit, to observe,… Read More Roger Cohen and Civilian National Service
In the Oriental Republic, it’s difficult to disentangle public and national, because so much of what it means to be Uruguayan in the social imaginary revolves around ministries and the state-run entes autonomous and organismos decentralizados which provide monopolies or near monopolies on services such as water (OSE), and telecommunications (Antel). When I first came to… Read More Uruguay’s Centers of Citizen Attention
Here is a playlist compiled from my book chapter “‘Vamos al Freeshop’: The Uruguay Brazil-Continuum”. The songs are intimately of and about life along the fronte(i)ra (border) between Uruguay and the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, dealing with everything from contraband to linguistic rights to ranching. Tracks 1 and 2 are about the border… Read More Music of the Uruguay/Brazil Borderlands
In Uruguay, the first Saturday of October is Día de Patrimonio, or Heritage Day, an event sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Sites all across the country open for visitors for free, similar to OpenHouse London. This year’s theme recognizes the outsized role public education has played in Uruguay’s highly integrated society, commemorating… Read More Día de Patrimonio/Heritage Day
http://www.nytimes.com/…/music/brazilian-music-playlist.html This is a stellar playlist to kick off the Olympics, filled with some of the finest musicians not just in Brazil, but the world, and I highly recommend listening! However, I am disappointed that none of the 30 songs chosen by The New York Times come from 3 of the genres widely considered to… Read More Let the Games (and music) begin!
All year long, I couldn’t avoid this man with sideburns, combed back hair and a pointy nose. His name and image were more present than any other in the public sphere. A quick perusal at the shelves of a Montevideo bookstore will reveal more tomes on this man than any other human, dead or… Read More National Personification and Founding Father: An American Perspective on José Gervasio Artigas
I have just completed a chapter synthesizing the urban historical geography of Montevideo through its tapestry of neighborhoods and the incredible wealth of music that is rooted in place. The best way to delve into the individual character of Montevideo’s barrios is through music. It’s not that each neighborhood has its own genre, though certain… Read More Saludo a Los Barrios: An Urbanist’s Musical Tour of Montevideo