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  • Megan McDowell has translated some of Latin America's most important and influential contemporary writers, including Argentine authors Samanta Schweblin and Mariana Enriquez and Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra. Her translations have won the English PEN award and the Premio Valle-Inclán, and she has been nominated three times for the International Booker Prize.

    Megan and John spoke about the visibility of translators in the creative process, her role opening up Latin American literature to English-speaking audiences, the unique contexts and vocabulary of Chile and Argentina, and how more women than ever are seeing their work published and translated.

    You can follow Megan on Instagram: @meganamcdowell

    Read this conversation in The Paris Review: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/07/24/the-uncanny-double-an-interview-with-megan-mcdowell/#more-112553

    Read this review of Megan's translation of Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, long listed for the Man Booker international prize: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/24/fever-dream-by-samanta-schweblin-review

    Follow us: @MiradasPod

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  • It’s sometimes a tough gig being Her Majesty’s man in Buenos Aires, but Mark Kent has charmed many Argentines with his light-hearted brand of digital diplomacy. In this episode the ambassador discusses the challenges of evacuating Brits on horseback from across the country during the pandemic, whether post-Brexit Britain can find new opportunities in Latin America, and his efforts to help heal historic wounds over the Falkland Islands, claimed by Argentina as Las Malvinas.

    Follow Mark on Twitter: @kentargentina


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  • A generation of populist leaders with strong personalities has defined Latin American politics in the 21st century. BBC correspondent Will Grant has been working in the region since 2007, based in Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba, in which time he has borne witness to the political movements collectively painted as the ‘Pink Tide’. In his new book, Populista: The Rise of Latin America’s 21st Century Strongman, he pieces together the stories of Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, Luis Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva in Brazil, Bolivia’s Movimiento al Socialismo under Evo Morales, Rafael Correa over in Ecuador, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and the Cuban regime of Fidel Castro. In this interview, Will and John discuss Chávez’s rambling cadenas on state television, caudillismo in the 21st century, how commodity prices underpinned progress under Pink Tide governments and the countries these leaders ultimately left behind.


    Follow Will on Twitter: @will__grant

    Buy ¡Populista! here: https://headofzeus.com/books/9781789543957


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  • Microbial ecologist Cristina Dorador is one of Chile’s leading scientists, known for her pioneering research demonstrating how the Atacama Desert, its rivers, harsh salt lakes and nearby Andean plateaus are teeming with microscopic life. In this episode she dials in from Antofagasta to discuss how the Atacama’s salt flats hold clues to the origins of life and even extra-terrestrial lifeforms, how lithium and copper mining are impacting this fragile environment and the indigenous peoples that depend on it, and why she wants to help rewrite Chile’s Pinochet-era constitution in order to return resources and autonomy to the long-neglected north.

    Follow Cristina on Twitter: @criordor

    Read one of Cristina’s articles: La consagración del desierto La Tercera, October 28, 2020 (https://www.latercera.com/opinion/noticia/la-consagracion-del-desierto/QDMIHSPL7RFUZBFAC3RXOSP66U/)


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  • Our guest this week is Scottish journalist and author Andrew Downie, who has written on sport and politics from Mexico, Haiti and Brazil across nearly 30 years in Latin America.

    Andrew's work has appeared in the Economist, the New York Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian, and he is the author of the critically-acclaimed 'Doctor Socrates: Footballer, Philosopher and Legend.' His next book, 'The Greatest Show on Earth,' is an oral history of the iconic Mexico World Cup in 1970 and will be out in September.

    In this episode, recorded 50 years after the final took place in Mexico City, Andrew shares his experiences covering football across the region – as well as the inevitable crossover between sport and politics.

    Buy 'Doctor Socrates: Footballer, Philosopher and Legend' here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doctor-Socrates-Footballer-Philosopher-Legend/dp/1471154076

    Pre-order 'The Greatest Show on Earth' here: https://birlinn.co.uk/product/the-greatest-show-on-earth/

    You can follow Andrew on Twitter @adowniebrazil

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  • Peruvian writer and journalist Marco Avilés joins Laurie from Maine, US. The author of several books, including De dónde venimos los cholos (Seix Barral, 2016) and No soy tu cholo (Debate, 2017), Marco discusses his reporting on the heightened impact of coronavirus on the US Latino community, and shares some reflections on how racism and inequality operate in similar ways in the US and Peru.

    Interview transcript:
    https://medium.com/@info_27440/episode-12-marco-avil%C3%A9s-on-race-in-peru-and-the-us-ffc3527eb50a

    Marco’s website: marcoaviles.com

    Marco’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcoAvilesH

    Desde Estados Unidos: un virus no distingue estatus migratorios | Salud con Lupa, April 7
    https://saludconlupa.com/noticias/desde-estados-unidos-un-virus-no-distingue-estatus-migratorios/

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  • John spoke to journalist and writer Vincent Bevins about his new book, The Jakarta Method (out now), a whirlwind narrative tour through the history of communism and the US’ covert operations undertaken to challenge its popularity.

    The Jakarta Method links the massacre of one million Indonesian civilians in 1965 to events in Latin America and across the world, and Vincent discusses the fate of communism in Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile and Guatemala.

    Vincent worked for the Financial Times in London, spent six years as Brazil correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and most recently covered Southeast Asia for the Washington Post. The Jakarta Method connects Vincent’s main fields of reporting, and was his way of exploring and explaining why the world looks as it does today.

    You can buy The Jakarta Method here:
    https://vincentbevins.com/book/

    Publisher Hachette:
    https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/vincent-bevins/the-jakarta-method/9781541742406/

    Can Brazil’s Democracy Withstand Jair Bolsonaro? | The Atlantic
    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/10/brazil-democracy-jair-bolsonaro/574258/

    Indonesia’s Democracy Is Becoming More Conservative | The Atlantic
    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/04/indonesia-democracy-elections-conservative/587341/

    Follow Vincent on Twitter @Vinncent

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  • Dialling in from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Andrés Pertierra, a historian of Latin America, joins Laurie to discuss the humanitarian, political and financial motives behind Cuba’s overseas medical missions. A former student at the University of Havana, Andrés shares insights into the Cuban health system, the recent history of US-Cuba relations, and why the revival of US sanctions are unlikely to bring about democracy on the island.

    By sending doctors to Italy, Cuba continues its long campaign of medical diplomacy | The Conversation, March 26
    https://theconversation.com/by-sending-doctors-to-italy-cuba-continues-its-long-campaign-of-medical-diplomacy-134429

    Follow Andrés on Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/ASPertierra

    Orígines: A Cuban History Podcast
    http://originesacubanhistorypodcast.libsyn.com/

    The Mystery of the Havana Syndrome | The New Yorker, November 2018
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/11/19/the-mystery-of-the-havana-syndrome

    Interview Transcript
    https://medium.com/@info_27440/episode-10-andrés-pertierra-on-cubas-medical-missions-b812d6143621

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  • John speaks to Chilean political scientist Dr Camila Vergara (@Camila_Vergara) about constitutions, populism and systemic corruption. Her first book, República Plebeya, meshes her research interests, and an adaptation will be published in English by Princeton University Press later this year.

    On 25 October 2020, Chile will vote in a constitutional referendum to decide whether the Pinochet-era 1980 document will be replaced. In this interview, Camila gave some fascinating insights into how the provisions enshrined by a constitution are manifested in societies, how the Chilean people could be incorporated into the process, and how the demands of a social movement that has rocked Chile since October last year are rooted in the current constitution.

    Camila's first book, República Plebeya (in Spanish): https://www.lakomuna.cl/tienda/product/1435_republica-plebeya

    An English adaptation (forthcoming): https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691207537/systemic-corruption

    The Meaning of Chile’s Explosion (Jacobin): https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/10/chile-protests-sebastian-pinera-constitution-neoliberalism

    Yendo de la calle al cabildo: vías para un proceso constituyente popular (CIPER): (https://ciperchile.cl/2020/01/29/yendo-de-la-calle-al-cabildo-vias-para-un-proceso-constituyente-popular/)

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  • Laurie is joined from Quito by Yolanda Kakabadse, a leading conservationist and former president of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF, 2010-17) and environment minister in Ecuador (1998-2000). They discuss the toll of coronavirus on Ecuador, whether a more sustainable world can be built from the wreckage of the current crisis, and how environmentalists can better convey their urgent message.

    Deaths and desperation mount in Ecuador, epicenter of coronavirus pandemic in Latin America | The Conversation, April 24
    https://theconversation.com/deaths-and-desperation-mount-in-ecuador-epicenter-of-coronavirus-pandemic-in-latin-america-137015

    Ecuador battles the coronavirus - and fake news | Miami Herald, April 8
    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article241853291.html

    Yolanda Kakabadse on the power of dialogue and sustainability | WWF, Spring 2019
    https://www.worldwildlife.org/magazine/issues/spring-2019/articles/yolanda-kakabadse-on-the-power-of-dialogue-and-sustainability

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  • ARGENTINA ELECTIONS - AMAZON FIRES - CHILEAN FOLK

    Newsflash (01:50): John spoke to Ducker Frontier's Latin America analyst, Alex Schober (@schobetrotter), about the economic situation in Argentina with a presidential election looming on 27 October.

    Deep Dive (16:15): Laurie interviewed Dr Emilio M Bruna, professor of tropical ecology at the University of Florida and Director of the Florida-Brazil Linkage Institute. They discuss the recent fires across the Amazon and much of South America, the impact of the deforestation "tipping point" on the region, and how severe funding cuts by the Bolsonaro administration will affect Brazil's flourishing scientific community.

    Brazil Budget cuts to scholarships: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02484-w

    Funding cuts to research: https://jornal.usp.br/radio-usp/proposta-orcamentaria-acaba-com-fomento-a-pesquisa-do-cnpq/

    Amazon fires 1: https://earthinnovation.org/2019/08/amazon-fires-what-we-know-and-what-we-can-do/

    Amazon fires 2: https://ipam.org.br/deforestation-not-the-dry-season-responsible-for-amazon-burning-in-2019/

    Amazon deforestation: https://rainforests.mongabay.com/amazon/amazon_destruction.html

    Culture (41:40): Finally, John caught up with Chilean folk-rock singer Camila Moreno. They discussed her upbringing, politics and influences - as well as her latest album Pangea Vol. 2, which came out on 14 October.

    You can listen to it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6HysXgnbctZmGzRS2Bqfit?si=KdIx-_VfQG-B1hVR9KKxAQ

    Thank you for listening to the first season of Miradas! We would love to hear your comments.

    You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @MiradasPod, or check out our website and join our mailing list at www.miradaspodcast.com. You can also email us on info@miradaspodcast.com.

  • BRAZIL VIOLENCE – HAITI POLITICS – DANCE IN MEXICO

    In Episode #6:

    Newsflash (01:50): John interviews Professor Timothy J Power, head of the University of Oxford’s School of Global and Area Studies and Director of its Brazilian Studies Programme. They discuss the hardline approach of the Jair Bolsonaro government in Brazil towards violent crime, the factors behind a recent fall in homicides, and the country’s tumultuous political panorama.

    Deep Dive (16:45): Laurie patches in to Jacqueline Charles, Caribbean correspondent for the Miami Herald. They talk about the recent political and economic turmoil in Haiti, the legacies of the devastating 2010 earthquake and the island’s historical struggle for independence from France, and Jacqueline’s experiences covering a diverse and complex corner of the Americas.

    Culture (44:25) Laurie catches up with Isaac Hernández, actor, activist, and lead principal with the English National Ballet. They discuss Isaac’s formative experiences in Guadalajara, his recent campaigning for Greenpeace, forthcoming film and TV productions with Netflix, and his pioneering projects bringing dance and performance to a broader range of Mexican society.

    You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @MiradasPod, or check out our website and join our mailing list at www.miradaspodcast.com. You can also email us on info@miradaspodcast.com.

  • PUERTO RICO CRISIS – BERTA CÁCERES – LATINXS IN LONDON

    In Episode #5:

    Newsflash (01:50): Laurie catches up with Puerto Rican journalist Andrea González-Ramírez to discuss the territory’s ongoing political and economic crisis, the fallout from Hurricane Maria, the vexed colonial relationship between the island and the US mainland, and its ties to Latin America – with reference to Bad Bunny, Residente, naval exercises, and the pill.

    https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/07/238239/puerto-rico-ricardo-rossello-chat-protest

    https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/09/209761/hurricane-maria-anniversary-puerto-rico-women-experience

    https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/07/238816/why-did-puerto-rico-governor-resign-young-women-protest-rossello

    Deep Dive (20:10): John interviews Nina Lakhani, a freelance journalist covering Central America for The Guardian. They talked about her forthcoming book on the life & death of Berta Cáceres, which is out with Verso Books in 2020. Nina explained the difficulties she has faced reporting on the case in Honduras and the precautions taken to ensure that she can continue to inform those outside of the country.

    https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/4036-verso-author-fighting-intimidation-for-covering-the-murder-trial-of-indigenous-activist-berta-caceres

    Culture (47:40): Laurie sits down with writer Yara Rodrigues Fowler at the British Library in London. They discuss her debut novel Stubborn Archivist (released 2019 in the UK & US), which traces a life caught between Brazil and Britain, trauma and experience, forgetting and remembering. Yara also reflects on the political situation in Brazil, media portrayals of the country, and advocacy, art and activism among the fast-growing Latinx community in London.

    https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/titles/yara-rodrigues-fowler/stubborn-archivist/9780708899076/

    https://www.arcolatheatre.com/whats-on/fuck-you-pay-me/

    http://flawafestival.co.uk/

    https://www.tobylloydfilm.com/my-uncle-is-not-pablo-escobar

    You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @MiradasPod, or check out our website and join our mailing list at www.miradaspodcast.com. You can also email us on info@miradaspodcast.com.

  • EVO & BOLIVIA – US MIGRANT ACTIVISM – PARAGUAYAN FILM

    In Episode #4:

    Newsflash (02:00): Laurie dials in to La Paz to catch up with with Amaru Villanueva, a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Essex, about Bolivia’s elections in October. Can leftist Evo Morales win a fourth consecutive term and stay in power until 2025, are the polls telling the real story, and what kind of country will Evo leave to his (eventual) successor?

    Deep Dive (19:20): John interviews Cristina Jiménez, the co-founder and director of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the US. They talk about how social movements can play a part in standing up to hostile policies, and the cohesive forces that help migrants assimilate.

    Culture (44:00): Laurie catches up with filmmaker Marcelo Martinessi to discuss “Las Herederas,” his prize-winning study of same-sex desire among Paraguay’s stuffy bourgeoisie, which was released in 2018 to universal acclaim at film festivals worldwide. Marcelo reflects on why the movie produced such strong reactions, and the challenges of making art in a deeply conservative society.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7zELAeLObc

    You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @MiradasPod, or check out our website and join our mailing list at www.miradaspodcast.com. You can also email us on info@miradaspodcast.com.

  • COLOMBIA PEACEBUILDING - LIBERALISM VS POPULISM - AMAZONIAN CUISINE

    In Episode #3:

    Newsflash (01:35): John speaks with Jamie Shenk, a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Oxford, about Colombia's fragile peace following the formal end of the civil war in 2016, ongoing violence against community activists by paramilitary groups, and the contested role of local consultations in achieving sustainable, inclusive development.

    Deep Dive (11:50): Laurie interviews Professor Andrés Velasco, Dean of Public Policy at the London School of Economics, and former Finance Minister of Chile (2006-10) about his new co-authored book with Daniel Brieba, 'Liberalismo en Tiempos de Cólera', whether "toxic and anti-democratic" populism from Brazil to Mexico can ever be inevitable or beneficial, and his fears that Chile's president Sebastián Piñera is stoking nativism against migrants.

    https://www.amazon.com/Liberalismo-en-tiempos-c%C3%B3lera-Spanish-ebook/dp/B07RWPP3H2

    Culture (38:00): Laurie catches up with writer and photographer Nicholas Gill, founder of New Worlder, to talk Latin American cuisine, the best places to eat in Lima, his travels along the Río Negro, and the millions of remarkable flavours and ingredients the Amazon and its peoples has to offer – if they can be saved from destruction.

    http://nicholas-gill.com/

    https://www.newworlder.com

    http://despensamazonica.org/

    You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @MiradasPod, or check out our website and join our mailing list at www.miradaspodcast.com. You can also email us on info@miradaspodcast.com.

  • WOMEN’S WORLD CUP – HISTORY OF WOMEN’S SPORT IN LATIN AMERICA – PLAYING FOR COLOMBIA

    In this week’s special Women’s World Cup episode:

    Newsflash (01:50): John speaks to Natalie Gedra (Twitter: @ngedra), a Brazilian sports journalist, about covering the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the excitement on and off the pitch, and why the clamour for equal pay is growing.

    Deep Dive (18:25): Laurence interviews Dr Brenda Elsey (Twitter: @Politicultura), a historian at Hofstra University, about her new co-authored book “Futbolera: A History of Women and Sports in Latin America,” racism and sexism in the women’s game, the little-known story of Costa Rica’s Deportivo Feminino, and why we should listen to Thaisa as well as Marta.

    https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/elsey-nadel-futbolera

    https://equalizersoccer.com/2019/06/25/marta-speech-womens-world-cup-elimination-brazil-federation-issues/

    Culture (43:50): John catches up with Melissa Ortiz, an Olympian and forward for the Colombian Women’s national team (Twitter: @MelissaMOrtiz), to talk about the joys and challenges of the women’s game, recent improvements to the management of Colombian football, and recycling second-hand socks from youth teams.

    You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MiradasPod, or check out our website and join our mailing list at www.miradaspodcast.com. You can also email us on info@miradaspodcast.com.

  • VENEZUELA’S CRISIS – CHILE’S ELITE – MIGRATION FROM HONDURAS

    In this week’s episode:

    Newsflash (01:40): John speaks to Maryhen Jiménez (Twitter: @MaryhenJimenez), a lecturer in politics at the University of Oxford, about Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis and how the country can begin to rebuild.

    Deep Dive (19:25): John interviews Daniel Matamala (Twitter: @DMatamala), a Chilean writer and journalist, on the concentration of wealth and power in Chile's tiny elite - the subject of his latest book.

    www.catalonia.cl/los-reyes-desnudos-p-4634.html

    Culture (37:45): Laurence catches up with Tomas Ayuso (Instagram: @tomas_ayuso), a Honduran photojournalist, to discuss his influences, the complicated reality behind migration to the US, and the ethics of capturing an unfolding crisis.

    www.tomasayuso.com

    www.fstoppers.com/originals/award-…assassins-372995

    You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MiradasPod, or check out our website and join our mailing list at www.miradaspodcast.com. You can also email us on info@miradaspodcast.com.