My Travels Around the World


Colombia Part 11: Medellin Politics and Comuna 13

July 26, 2018

You can’t talk about Medellin without talking about drug wars and politics. So in this chapter I will describe the history that Medellin, and the rest of Colombia, fought against, and I will tell you about Comuna 13. It is a fascinating story of civil war and survival.

Medellin was once known as the most dangerous city in the world. Why? Because of an urban war begun in the 1980s between the drug cartels. It gets complicated but stay with me and I will try to explain (and hope I get it right). But I will explain it through the eyes and ears of the locals, the people who lived through that frightening time.

Colombia Part 10: Fernando Botero

July 2018


You can’t visit Colombia, especially Medellin, and not run into the works of Fernando Botero. I was first introduced to Botero many years ago as some of my mother’s friends had one of his sculptures (real or replica – I have no idea). And I immediately fell in love with his work. If you had to pick one word to describe it, the word would have to be “round.” Sort of like his name.

Large, curvy, voluptuous

You can’t mistake his work for anyone else’s as his sculptures and figures in his paintings are all large, curvy, voluptuous, plump, fat, and exaggerated (which can be interpreted as criticism – often political – or humorous).  I am not being unkind.  He himself has called his figures, “fat.” In fact, he said, ” An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.”

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