Friday, 17 October 2008

Colombiage: Celebrating Contemporary Colombian Arts

I can warmly recommend that culture-seekers get themselves along to the second annual Colombiage Festival in London this weekend, where new Colombian film, literature, music and culture in general are curated and celebrated in super-lively fashion. Last night I chaired a discussion with the novelist Mario Mendoza at the Odeon Covent Garden about the film version of his much-admired novel Satanas, a work that was inspired by a terrible killing spree in Bogota c. 1986, the murderer (a 52 year-old enthusiast of Stevenson's Jekyll & Hyde who had served with the US army in Vietnam) having been a fellow literature student with the much younger Mendoza at Bogota's Jesuit University. I found Mario's views on the darkness of current Colombian narrative art, and on the immanence of evil in the world generally, to be highly fascinating, while also being delighted by the size of the largely Spanish-speaking audience, who also made their way in numbers to an excellent launch party thereafter at the Soho Revue.

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