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Wednesday, September 29, 2021


"They will not break our hope"

("No nos romperán la esperanza")

Copyright © 1975 Anonymous Chilean artist, "No nos romperán la esperanza," Arpillera (wool sown on burlap), 24" x 18". 


We humans are not meant to be isolated from each other. We simply need each other. Our ancestral emotional needs lead us to stay connected. Our tribal existence has grown and extended into a rich, complex and splendorous ivy, covering all the stones and fields on our beautiful planet. 


We enjoy making love to each other, embracing, laughing together, communicating and comforting each other. This atavic need to stay connected is intrinsic to our mysterious DNA. 

Copyright © 2010, Anne Mourat "Like two strangers", sculpture in clay, from:

We first experience all these emotions of closeness at the nuclear family level. If these essential experiences are not available for a child, their level of humanity and connectivity becomes greatly damaged during their adult life. 

Copyright ©2014 Nancy Barra, "La Pachamama", acrylic on canvas, 16" x 12" from: Nancy BarraContemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

When we experience and enjoy this connectivity at the family level, we can also project it to our community and then to our broader networks and to the whole world.

Copyright, 1986, National  Geographic calendar, "Mother and Child," photograph

 Notwithstanding, the power elites have historically tried to divide us in different ways including: economic level, race, religion, politics, geography, gender, sexual preference, culture and /or ideology.  Since the birth of civilization, to divide people has been an effective power tool of these elites to keep people separated and ultimately, fighting with each other, while they become more powerful and richer.


Courtesy Wikipedia, © 2017 The National Herald Indian. Article: "The mutiny which helped the British create the Hindu-Muslim divide."  Illustration, unknown artist.

There is evidence to show that as a group becomes larger, the face-to-face and participatory tribal interaction and decision making become difficult and ultimately impossible. Sometimes smaller groups elect representatives  to participate in functional decision-making of the larger group.

Copyright ©  No Date, Leap into Life Foundation, "Daagomba Tribe meeting". Photograp

Then, as the number of group representatives grows, it becomes necessary to elect higher level representatives from the larger group of representatives, creating bureaucracies and centralized and pyramidal governments. Division and separation from the people they are  supposed to represent becomes the norm. 

Copyright ©1984 Aries in "The pyramid of needs: a poem". Photograph.


The representatives -who reach the high levels of government- immerse themselves in climbing the political structure. They feel disconnected from the cusp of political power as much as from their original communities. The memories of the communities they are supposed to represent fade.

Copyright © 2020 Pierre Guichard, "Gabrielle and Zip going down the Chañar Ravine" in Vicuña, Elqui, Chile, oil on canvas, 11.50" x 7.50"

Those with good intentions become disillusioned with the functioning of political networks and alliances. Others are usually absorbed and coopted by the government bureaucracy and the ideological environment of the political establishment, which plays an essential  acculturation mechanism for the newcomers of these “modern democracies.” The real interests of the communities are rarely represented.

Copyright © 2015 Tamara Pearson in resistance, "The powerful political art by Ralph Steadman," illustration.

This is a real constitutional challenge for modern societies. This is the conundrum between political representation and true democracy. What would be the answer? What can we do about it?


Copyright © 2000 Nancy Barra, "Gancho Coto asking questions", Pastel on Paper, 9" x 12", from Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo. 

The economist E. F. Shumacher in 1973, in his essay"Small is beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered," alludes to that type of small manageable social organization where the participants are face-to-face and they can dialog, plan, create, solve problems and enjoy time together, while fully participating in the tasks needed by their local community.

Copyright © 2019 "Community participating in Australia", photograph.

There is no need to decrease the world population by using wars or other type of genocide, but just to use -at an organizational community level- the people's energy for human connectivity and to capitalize on their skills, good will, creativity, social commitment and transparency to create, design and implement projects that are needed where they live.



Copyright © 2012  Natalie Ross from: compost,"Working on a community garden", photograph,

This would mean a radical de-centralization of the decision making process of a democratic system, where communities are at the core of the decision making, planning and implementation process.  

Copyright © 2017 Birsa Munda  from "Ägta Tribe from Philippines." Photograph.

E. F. Shumacher said, for example, that schools should not need to be huge and impressive buildings, where teachers do not know the names of their hundred plus students, who enter and leave their classrooms at the sound of a loud and jarring electronic bell.

Copyright © 2021 Facebook: Richmond High School, photograph

Let's dream small with  E. F. Schumacher!

He envisioned to divide schools into small houses or buildings where students and teachers can know each other and feel participating in the process of learning, not only in an enclosed classroom but in the natural community surroundings.


Copyright © 2016 from:, "The 15 habits of
highly effective teachers,"

This could be implemented in many organizations at the community level. In fact, many school districts in the US are implementing this approach through the community charter schools.

However, a successful implementation would require that entire communities in different fields: education, health, economic, financial, social, environmental, art, mass media, etc. would have the organizational freedom and willingness to take leadership to govern their local communities according to their specific needs and in a participatory and transparent manner.


Copyright © 2018 NYC office suites, "Best practices for working with different cultures in the workplace," photograph.


No more government representatives sitting down in congresses and parliaments for 40 or more years! 

At the community level, the representation would be on an effectiveness performance basis, ethical behavior standards and commitment to the goals of the community, which would facilitate the removal and replacement of those leaders who are simply not responding to the needs and ethics of the community.


Copyright © 2010  Jake Lyell  from:, "Meeting Nkomo village, Uganda" photograph

There could be a coordination between communities at the local and regional level to exchange successes and resources. 

Copyright © 2019 The Star newspaper( Ontario), "Shaking Hands," photograph.

Those communities that have achieved success in their implementation plans can share their experience with other less successful communities as well as to share their surplus resources with less endowed communities, helping them to succeed. If we do this in a spirit of  solidarity with others, we might begin to break the divisions that are keeping us divided.

Copyright © No date from: "Volunteering," photograph

Many would think that this is too idealistic and, therefore it would not work. Probably, it is. 

Copyright ©2010 Paul Bond in:,
"We hoisted our dreams into the light of another sun,"
oil on canvas, 14.1" x 18".

However, what really is not working at all on our planet right now is the increased created division among us, which is hurting us, making us suspicious, indifferent, belligerent and fiercely competitive with our  fellow beings.

Copyright © 2016 Nancy Barra  "Indifference", Oil on Canvas  10" x 8", from:
 Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

We are increasingly isolated and divided, while at the same time, we crave for human contact, dialog, embraces, validation and simply to have the freedom to be together with other people. 

Copyright © 2019 Nancy Barra, "Contemplating," oil on canvas, 27.6" x 19.7" , from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

We are dreaming now with simple situations like dancing in a party, laughing and singing with friends,  gathering with our family,  cheering our sport teams and enjoying fresh air and the beauty of nature with our loved ones. 

Copyright © 2013 Huu Hung Truong, "Smile," Photograph from: Vietnam Open Entry, Sony world Photography awards.

You can feel the pressure of those human needs all over the world in the air right now. It is our essential atavic calling for us to eradicate these divisions and reclaim which is inherent part of all of us: our humanity.

Copyright ©2009, "Free hugs in the train station in London," photograph


Can we break this artificial isolation and social division? Can we do it one-step-at-a-time in a small scale, without fear and animosity? I hope we can.

Copyright © 2019, "The group hug," photograph.

Could we extend our hand to others beyond our constricted cages so we can free each other? It would be so incredible if we do it! After all, we are the majority and united we are incredibly powerful, invincible, miraculous and beautiful.

Copyright © no date, Ana Shvets, "People reaching each other," photograph from:

I hope we find the strength to do it, with our hearts full of love and resolve, one day at a time,  for the years to come! In the meantime, let's say: 

                       "No matter what, 

                           they will not break our hope!"

Monday, March 29, 2021



 Copyright © 1995 Nancy Barra, "Interruption",oil on canvas 28"x22"from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo

She was convinced that for a long time only a handful of people have controlled our lives through political, financial, social and cultural institutions. She thought that for this elite, the word Honesty has lost its original meaning.

What is the meaning of Honesty

Copyright © 1927 Norman Rockwell, "The law student", 23.7 x 32.5, Lithograph

The word Honesty is derived from the Latin word honos, which means a public award to people who is “believed or supposed to be righteous and decent to perform a public duty”. In Latin the honestis were those people who were given the honoris (honor) by the people to become public servants. The honestis would be the formal equivalency of the "politicians" in our modern world. However many who we initially supposed to be"good public servants” have not always been true to this praise and honor.

Copyright © 1938 Edward Hopper, "Woman in compartment C car reading a book", oil on canvas, 16 X 20.

There is a more profound and rich meaning of Honesty in Latin that uses not one but several words to define it: decus and decorus (decency and respect), probus (to be honest), virtus (virtue and bravery), integere (integrity) and pietas (love and respect for humanity). Under this comprehensive definition of Honesty, many politicians and heads or international agencies, corporations and financial institutions would unfortunately be left out, or dishonoris (dishonored).

Copyright © 19th century, Angus Mc Bride in "British History". Title: "Radical politics in 19th century Britain", illustration on paper.

People have become disillusioned by many politicians for lack of their consistency, which also reveals their lack of Honesty. Many use a discourse full of concepts like equality, justice, diversity and environmental concerns but they drive fancy cars, live in mega mansions, fly personal jet planes, and like to be profiled in vanity magazines wearing exclusive designer clothes. Most of these leaders' closest friends are not disenfranchised working class folks, except as potential voters, of course.

Copyright © 2019 Bansky "Devolved Parliament", Mural 13 foot long, 98.4" x 165.3"

People are upset with leaders and institutions worldwide for their lack of Honesty. These so called "leaders" do not understand that their promising words have to match their actions. People demand for them to be consistent in their daily life along with the ethical and practical requirements of the word Honesty. 

Copyright © 1798 Library of Congress, Author: anonymous. Lithograph "The Congressional Pugilist", Philadelphia, Pensylvania.

She knew that she was not saying anything new. However, she thought that it would be a great idea to teach Latin to children in schools, so that they, as the next generation, can reclaim the precise meaning of important words like Honesty and its implications in anything they do. 

Copyright ©2021 Nancy Barra, "Reading by the sea", 16" x 12.5", pastel over watercolor on Aquarelle Arches paper,
from:Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo  

For now, she said that it was necessary to remember the essential meaning of what it means to be honest, so we all understand the honor of taking the responsibility to become a public servant as well as a decent human being... in saecula seculorum (forever and ever). Amen


Copyright © 1508  Albrecht Durer, "Praying hands", 8" x 12", pen and ink on blueish paper.