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World Social Forum

Last night we spent our first night in the international youth camp, which was marked by percussive celebrations long into the night. The celebratory music seemed to have been initiated by a large group of Colombians who sang, danced and drummed out some traditional typical songs of the north andean nation and yelled out protest chants against northamerican imperialsim, while paying homage to past revolutionary guerilla warriors. Eventually the fun fell into the hands of some Brazilians who dropped some energetic samba on the crowd bringing me back to the 24 hour a day samba that marked last years youth camp in porto alegre.

As it turns out, the youth campe is located in a park south of caracas that requires a 20 min. bus ride to get to and from. This is a significant departure from the orientation of last years camp which was situated within the autonomous space of the forum and was significantly more expansive, offering a variety of themed camps, music venues and many food options. Perhaps some of this will change here, as the camp is still early in its unfolding. The park is quite beautiful, located in the mountains and surrounded by mid-elevation tropical wet-forests. The weather has been a bit different then expected. Supposedly it is the dry season, yet we were hit with rain much of last night and also this morning. I was personally quite cold the whole night, not having brought a legitamate sleeping bag or pad.

Today we all headed into caracas proper to take care of some buisness. The forum officially begins today with opening ceremonies, though the workshops, seminars, discussions, etc. dont start until wednesday. Most of the group has decided to skip the opening ceremonies (which will likely consist of music all day and some speaches and orientations) in favor of attending the anarchist organized Alternative Social Forum. Let the games begin.
To be continued...

posted by Jade on Tuesday, January 24, 2006