Guatemalan singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona has famously speculated about the differences between the North and South of the world, considering the social, economic, and cultural ramifications of a world turned upside down in his song “Si el norte fuera el sur” (“If the North Were the South”). In this seventh issue of Global Graffiti, we are happy to share with you a couple of works that consider the role of North-South divides. The first is “Alvo Lalo,” an excerpt from John Washington’s novel Dustmarch. This piece takes readers on two friends’ journey north as they walk and talk, testing the limits of their solidarity in the liminal space of the Mexican desert, a landscape reminiscent of Beckett or Sartre. The second piece is Giulia Po’s interview with Italian author Maria Paola Colombo, winner of this year’s Flaiano Prize for her novel Il negative dell’amore (The Negative of Love). The author discusses her invocation of the divide between northern and southern Italy as both a concrete social and economic division in the lives of her two protagonists, as well as a metaphor for larger questions of individual identity.
We also have some pieces that consider geographical divides from alternative perspectives. The first of these is Erik Raschke’s “Berneria,” an exploration into the elusive history of the Arctic island of Berneria, where the inhabitants have vanished and left behind only journal entries and fragmentary tales of their life in the utopia colony. The second is Andrea Labinger’s short story “Laundry,” in which significant periods in the chronology and landscape of a woman’s life are recalled through the seemingly mundane task of doing laundry.
In addition, we are happy to feature: two poems by Amy Uyematsu, including a brilliant piece titled “Found Poem: Echoes from Zuccotti Park” which uses utterances from a Vanity Fair piece to compose a new vision of the Occupy movement; a review of frequent Global Graffiti contributor Angelina Muñiz-Huberman’s novel, A Mystical Journey, recently published in English translation; Harold Bascom’s “Red Birds” haiku series, featuring the Guyanese artist’s visual and verbal consideration of the effects of modernity on nature; and Carl Anderson’s “Window to the Caribbean,“ a visually enticing homage to the region’s cultural heritage and diversity.
In this issue, you will also see the artwork of Kwets in a few of the posts, including this one. Hailing from Barcelona, the Spanish graffiti writer, trained in design and illustration, loves to mix wild style with 3D or design concepts.
We hope that you enjoy our summer issue, marking two years of Global Graffiti!