La próxima diáspora / Jacinta Escudos

The Next Diaspora

(La Prensa Gráfica, San Salvador, El Salvador)

It's happening. I talk about it with a writer who went to London "for good." There will be a second diaspora in this country, headed by artists and intellectuals who can no longer find alternatives for continuing their work. This diaspora has begun.

It would take too long to provide names, but I know of several who have started to pack their bags, or who are in the process of doing so, tired of the oppression of an intellectual environment that looks more like a pirahna-infested sea rather than a space for the growth and exchange of ideas.

Contrary to what some insist on presenting as achievements and progress, there are spaces that have closed silently and others that are under constant threat.

For example, the harassment which La Luna receives is outrageous, and if that space remains open, it is thanks to the hard work and tenacity of Beatriz Alcaine, who wholeheartedly believes in her project. But be careful, even Beatriz could eventually grow tired.

How many novels and collections of short stories were published in 2004? We, this country's writers, keep an abundant amount of unedited work in drawers. Work which would enrich the literary luggage of this country. But few people care about that.

Another writer friend recently showed me an excellent short story. It's included in a book that's waiting for a decision from the DPI [Dirección de Publicaciones e Impresos] since oooohhhh so many years ago.

We discussed where he might be able to publish it, and we reached the conclusion that there are no publishing houses publishing literature. A few universities are publishing books with social themes and a few poetry collections which, to make matters worse, don't receive the necessary support.

It's happening. I just received a note from another writer. He tells me that he's leaving in one month. No one should complain when this country wakes up without its best artists. Nor should anyone be so shameless as to pretend to be proud when these artists find success in other borders.

{ Jacinta Escudos, La Prensa Gráfica, 12 February 2005 }

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