America Week provides a different view of the nation

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Quick question: When you think of an American, what comes to your mind? If you’re like most of us, you probably think of an American as being a resident of the United States. This week, “America Week,” sponsored by the Latin American Society, aims to fight these images by urging students to view “America” as a land of two continents with many different cultures and languages, rather than solely the U.S.A. “There is a strange linguistic bias in English that only terms people in the U.S. as Americans and not as the two continents of 900 million people,” stated Miguel Solano ’07, a member of the Latin American Society

The glass panes of Kohlberg have been adorned with various photos. The collection, known as American Introspectiva, consists of various images displaying the cultures and lives of people all across the Americas. From large cities such as New York City to ancient Aztec ruins, the photographs span the most northern tip of the Americas to countries located in the most southern parts of Latin America. None of the photographs are labeled. “This [was] done on purpose… we don’t want people to think in terms of geographic lines, but to see the Americas as a whole,” added Solano.

The exhibition of the pictures is a rare exception, since photos are not normally permitted to be on the glass windows. Stu Hain, the Associate Vice President for Facilities, provided the Latin American Society with permission to post the photographs.

Offering a wide array of cultural sampling, Parrish Beach will be a host to a music showing, offering music from Chile, salsa, tango, the blues and other music from the United States. In addition to the poetry reading by Carlos Trujillo on Monday, various students will read poetry in the Parrish Parlors at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. “The Motorcycle Diaries,” a popular film, will be shown tonight in Science Center 101 at 7 p.m., with refreshments and snacks provided.

While Swatties often concern themselves about human rights and other international issues, “many people don’t know about what’s going on right underneath them,” said Solano. To discuss Latin-American politics, Marifeli Perez Stable will be offering a talk entitled “The Challenges of Populism to Demand” on Thursday, sponsored by the Latin American Studies department.

This is the first “America Week” at Swarthmore. As Solano put it, “We’re hoping to make it a tradition.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *