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World Social Forum

I was finally able to register for a blogger account.
Today is pretty much our last day here. Our flight is tomorrow at 4:40, but we're hearing that the trip to the airport will now take 4 hours, instead of 2, due to the highway being broken. This is funny, because that highway is an alternative route that is being used due to the bridge being broken, which would have taken 45 minutes.
I'm pretty sad to be leaving. I really love Caracas and would love to spend a lot more time here, especially because the true character of the city has been blurred by all of the excitement and crowd and etc. due to the Forum. Someone we met yesterday said that as a fluent English-speaker, it is easy to find a nicely-paying job teaching English in Venezuela. Maybe that's something that I'd be interested in doing at some point in my life.}

Yesterday, Freya and I went to what we thought was an anarchist space in Caracas. It is indeed an anarchist space, but only for this week - it's being rented out for the Alternative Social Forum, from an artist by El Comision de Relaciones Anarquistas, the group that puts out El Libertario. It was a bit of a bummer to find out that this space was only temporary, because it's an amazing, space - big, and well-maintained. We were told by someone there that there is a radical space in Caracas though, called El Centro de Estudios Libertarios. We were unable to get decent directions to this place though, so unfortunately we're probably not going to be able to check it out.

I realize that I'm not writing very much about the World Social Forum itself. I think this is because there's just so much to say about it, and I feel somewhat rushed and unfocussed when I'm in the press office or an internet cafe, and I'd rather get my ideas together to create something more than the messy much of thoughts that are in my head right now. What I will say now is that I think this Forum was not very well organized. Many things about it were left quite vague, including location of workshops, translations, cancellations, etc. So that was disappointing. But at the same time, it's definitely been a good, exciting experience. I usually feel pretty excited at Bard to be surrounded by the amount of good ideas - but here it's on a completely different level, with so many thousands of leftist thinkers. A lot of it is the country of Venezuela and the city of Caracas themselves. For example, grafitti in this city is almost always a political expression.

Ok, we're off to see if we can see Chavez speak. The space will probably be too packed for us to get in, seeing that he's speaking in an hour, but we'll see what happens. Much love.

posted by Bhav on Sunday, January 29, 2006