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Viviana Garcia-Blanco

On today’s Weekend Passport, the Music of the Americas Ensemble takes us on a musical tour of Latin America. The group will discuss and perform classics from masters, such as Juan Bautista Plaza (Venezuela), Eduardo Gamboa (Mexico), and Astor Piazzolla (Argentina). The Ensemble is composed of flutist Nicaulis Alliey, violists Ariel Garcia, Jose Escalona, and cellist Juan Horie. As always, our global citizen, Nari Safavi, joins us to give you a couple ideas to help you plan your international weekend!
“Why is an exposed female nipple considered pornographic, while an exposed male nipple is not”? Free expression advocates have asked this, and similar questions since the social media platform, Tumblr, earlier this month, announced a sitewide purge of adult content. The decision came after the Apple App Store banned Tumblr for allegedly hosting child pornography. Verizon, which owns Tumblr, saw its stock value plummet after it announced that as of December 17th, the site will permanently delete blogs it deems inappropriate. Critics have concerns over Tumblr’s method for flagging unsuitable content. Rather than use humans to manage and filter such content, Tumblr will leave it to artificial intelligence to decide what is inappropriate. Critics also state that while banning “adult” content, Tumblr allows White supremacists, and other hate groups, to remain active and vocal. Joining us to discuss content management, tech cultures, and who gets to decide what’s inappropriate, is Indira Neill Hoch, a visiting assistant professor of communications at UIC. Her forthcoming co-edited volume is titled A Tumblr Book Platform and Cultures.
The Economist recently found that global rates of suicide have declined by 29 percent since the year 2000. The same report also pointed to the fact that suicides in the U.S. have increased, especially among “middle-aged, white, poorly educated rural people.” Some have argued that the U.S. rates have gone up because of a lack of healthcare, the opiate crisis, and access to guns, while global rates have gone down because of wider development. Joining us to discuss is Jonathan Singer. He is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago and board member of the American Association of Suicidology.
On Saturday, leftist leader and social activist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, was sworn into office as Mexico’s 58th President. Following a cleansing ritual by indigenous elders symbolizing purity and liberation, AMLO dived into his speech attacking free-market policies that he feels have devastated Mexico’s economy and citizens. AMLO also vowed to keep his election promise to end corruption. He said, “I will not lie, I will not steal or betray the people of Mexico.” Joining us to discuss this new transition of Mexican politics is Milena Ang. She’s collegiate assistant professor of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.
In the 1990’s, members of the Cuban punk movement known by the name Los Frikis (The Freaks), purposely injected themselves with HIV in order for the government to give them resources to survive during Cuba’s devastating time of austerity. Los Frikis, inspired by the outlawed rock and metal scene of the 80’s, were enemies of Fidel Castro’s regime for their counter-culture fashion, attitudes, and ideologies. For many punks, infecting themselves with a deadly disease was the only way to truly be free in a society that hated them. This Friday, November 30th, the documentary Los Frikis, will be screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Joining us to discuss the subjects of the film is NPR’s Radio Ambulante producer, Luis Trelles and MCA Curator of Programs, January Parkos Arnall. As always, global citizen Nari Safavi joins us to give you a couple ideas to help you plan your international weekend!
“Indigenous Futurism” is a creative movement that expresses Indigenous beliefs in the context of science fiction. Native, First Nations, and Indigenous artists and authors reimagine past, present, and future realities through a lens untainted by colonial ideals. In the Virtual Reality (VR) exhibit, Biidaaban: First Light, Anishinaabe artist and filmmaker, Lisa Jackson, depicts a Toronto, Canada that is reclaimed by nature. Jackson joins Worldview to discuss her critically acclaimed VR piece with WBEZ film contributor, Milos Stehlik.
A new photo exhibit by ART WORKS Projects. Women of Togo, explores the West African country that UNICEF named the 15th “Most Dangerous Place to be born” in the world. Malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, HIV, and malnutrition are major killers of children in Togo. An estimated one-in-ten children will not live to see their fifth birthday. In February 2018, Chicago-based photographer, Zoe Rain, joined Integrate Health/Santé Intégrée, a community-led international health organization, to document the impact that clinic renovations had on isolated communities. Rain, along with Claire Qureshi, vice president of Frontline Delivery for the UN Special Envoy for Health, join us to discuss this health initiative. The opening and panel discussion of the photo exhibit “Women of Togo” is Thursday, November 15, 6pm at ART WORKS Projects, 625 N. Kingsbury in Chicago
In recent years, Hollywood has capitalized off of comic books. In particular, Marvel films has dominated box offices, with successes like The Avengers and Black Panther, raking in billions of dollars. Comics titan, Stan Lee, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, died yesterday. Many critics argue that superhero films are ruining the film industry, prioritizing profit over art form. Joining us to discuss Marvel’s film industry impact are Milos Stehlik and Charles Coleman or Facets Chicago. Frequent Worldview guest, and Michigan University Historian, Juan Cole, joins us to share how his personal Marvel collection caught the attention of Lee and Northwestern University over 40 years ago. Marvel’s success is due to a loyal, and at times problematic, fan base. We’ll also discuss comic book culture with CarrieLynn Reinhard, associate professor of Communications at Dominican University, and author of Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities.
José Olivarez is a Chicago-based author. His recently released poetry book, Citizen Illegal, talks about some of his experiences as a Mexican-American. Worldview’s Viviana Garcia-Blanco talks with José Olivarez about issues of anti-blackness and toxic machismo attitudes in the Latinx community. Olivarez will also read some of his poems.
In the U.S., President Trump has repeatedly antagonized the press, recently claiming that journalist are “the enemy of the people”. Conditions for journalists in other countries however, are more extreme. Mexico is the second deadliest country to be a journalist, second only to Syria. According to one report, attacks against the press have increased in Mexico by over 163% over the pass six years. Public display of executions and torture of journalists are common place in Mexico. Acclaimed Mexican journalist, Sanjuana Martinez joins Worldview to discuss some of the brutal realities she has lived through. Martinez is the author of El manto púrpura (The Purple Robe), and Las amantes del Poder (Those Who Love Power). She contributes to the national newspaper La Jornada. Translation provided by Viviana Garcia-Blanco and Lucina Kathmann.
Craig Futterman, a Chicago based lawyer, founded the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the University of Chicago’s Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, over 15 years ago. The clinic is a staple for Chicago communities, who have suffered at the hands of the criminal justice system. Futterman joins Worldview to discuss the hurdles to preventing ongoing police misconduct, and why he feels it is so challenging for officers to be held accountable. Futterman is also clinical professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School. Listen to the BBC’s documentary: “Don’t Shoot, I’m Disabled” ***Warning: some may find this content disturbing***
Loosely inspired by the real life relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Mexican-American author, Sandra Cisneros, returns to Chicago with a new chapbook entitled, Puro Amor. Cisneros is best known for her debut coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street, which took place in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. Her unique writing style and focus on the working class has made Cisneros a renowned literary figure.Worldview’s Viviana Garcia-Blanco speaks to Cisneros about her latest work and her projects outside of writing.
Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez is a Nicaraguan storyteller, and theologian, well known for her contributions to Huffington Post Latino Voices. In her most acclaimed article, Dear Woke Brown Girl, Rodriguez highlights her struggles with Latinx identity, surviving white serving institutions, and her refusal to assimilate into “White America”. Her work resonates with many young Latinx people in America, who share similar experiences with Latinx identity politics, and institutional racism. Worldview’s Viviana Garcia-Blanco speaks with Rodriguez about her latest piece in the anthology Nevertheless, We Persisted. Rodriguez is the founder of the Latina Rebels platform, and is a co-host for the podcast Spiked Tea Time.
The indigenous communities of Chiapas, Mexico have long struggled against human rights violations. The local government and large corporations often exploit the region’s natural resources often disregarding the ancient community’s property rights. Many are detained or disappear for resisting the land grabs. To discuss, we’re joined Tom Hansen from the Mexico Solidarity Network and Thomas Zapf from the Fray Bartolome (FrayBa) de Las Casas Human Rights Center. Every year, Hansen’s organization brings students from Chicago to Chiapas to observe and document human rights abuses. Hansen and Zapf are raising money for the Chiapas human rights defenders so that they can remain independent from foreign nonprofits.
According to a new report commissioned by the UN, the only hope for a sustainable future lies in a radical and urgent restructuring of the global economy. The research think tank BIOS hopes this report will shape the direction of the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Report slated to come out next year. The paper suggests that climate change, rising inequality, and slow economic growth are caused by conventional capitalist markets. Joining us to discuss the connection between capitalism and and this ecological and social crisis is Paavo Järvensivu. A senior researcher at BIOS Research Center.
In less than a month, Brazilians will be heading to the polls to vote for a new president for the country. The current political climate in Brazil is unsettling as new developments unfold almost every day. Last week, former Brazilian President and forerunner of the race despite being in prison, Lula de Silva, bowed out of the race. Early this month, Jair Bolsano, a candidate who draws similarities to President Trump, was stabbed at a campaign rally. Joining us to help us make sense of this chaotic election is Amanda Pinheiro de Oliveira, a Brazilian journalist andPhD student of Global Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
The economic crisis in Venezuela has produced one of the worst humanitarian crises in the modern history of our hemisphere. With the government’s implementation of extreme cutbacks and regulations, basic necessities like food and medicine are either impossible to afford or simply not available. Venezuelans have no option but to flee their country. The UN estimated that around 2.3 million Venezuelans have left the country in the past couple of years. This month, the Trump administration met in secret with rebel Venezuelan officers to discuss a possible coup to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro from office. To discuss this crisis we are joined by Andreas Feldmann, an Associate Professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program and Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). David Smilde also joins us. He is a Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) senior fellow and curator of WOLA’s Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights blog.
Earlier this month the prestigious Tokyo Medical University admitted to lowering the test scores of female applicants to bar them from being admitted into the university. This has systematically been occurring for the past eight years. Despite efforts from the Abe administration, Japan currently ranks 114th in gender equality according to the World Economic Forum. Joining us to discuss gender discrimination in Japan is Linda Hasunuma, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Bridgeport. She is currently facilitating the Japan-America Women Political Scientists Symposium that takes place from August 28-31.