Art and Culture

The Intertwining History of Asia and Latin America

April 27, 2016

A couple weeks ago I talked about the new trade and foreign direct investment deals occurring between Latin American countries and China. This subject dates back to the 2000s with the boom of China’s economy, but history between the two countries dates back to the colonial period when goods from both regions were highly prized and exploited.

Rupununi Hauntings: Tracing Development from Cattle to Roads

April 27, 2016

The Rupununi is a vast savannah lowland region of Guyana, one which forms the Northern fringe of the Amazon basin.  Its geography is distinct from the rest of the country, with the tropical forests that cover much of Guyana giving way to the seasonally flooded grasslands, crossed with small meandering creeks.  The Rupununi was originally part of the Gran Sabana (Venezuela) and the Rio Branco savannah (Brazil), a geography artificially divided along political line

Dirty Oil

April 27, 2016

Petrobras is embroiled in arguably the greatest scandal in Brazilian history. The story goes something like this: At its peak, Petrobras was spending nearly $20 billion a year on new construction projects.  The executives responsible for awarding contracts had formed a cartel with some of Brazil’s largest construction and engineering firms. These firms would decide which one of them would win a contract, and then would add 1-5% more money onto the bid price.

"Deep Down Dark" Review

April 27, 2016

Before we even meet the miners, Hector Tobar introduces us to a figure who is already quite familiar to us all: Charles Darwin. After depicting the mostly barren land and unrelenting sun, Tobar emphasizes just how lifeless the Atacama Desert––the setting for this story––really is:

A Literary Evening with Héctor Tobar

October 4, 2016

On Monday September 21st, Héctor Tobar kicked off the Literary Monday Night Lecture Series presented by Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures with a discussion of his latest book, Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle That Set Them Free. His book is the story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped unground for 69 days in 2010, a story that sparked international interest.

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