This is my first blog post so I think it’s important to tell you a little bit about who I am. Firstly, my name’s Melissa. I am the new editorial intern at Latinitas. I am a senior at the University of Texas majoring in International Relations and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. As a Hispanic female, I have to say that I’m thrilled to be on board with a group of wonderful people who are truly inspiring and so very passionate when it comes to their mission of empowering young Latinas. I have a great passion for the arts: everything music, art, film, theatre, and literature. More importantly, my passion is for everything Latin America. This blog will be dedicated to just that: the arts in Latin America, the arts and Latin America.
Let’s start with a little literature:
An author that has struck my attention lately is Isabel Allende. I’ve read her since I was in middle school but lately she’s come back around and haunted me in conversations, in old books and stories. She’s quite a person. I mean, she really is. I had the opportunity to meet her when I was about eighteen and have been her biggest fan ever since. She’s about the age of my grandmother but is the most provocative, liberal and outspoken person that I’ve ever met. She says what’s on her mind and never apologizes—no matter how suggestive her words can be.
Isabel Allende is Chilean. She was born into a political family and fled the country after a right wing military junta overthrew the government and assassinated her uncle--Chile’s president in 1973. Due to the dictatorship that censored any kind of left wing thinking, which included but was not limited to artists and writers, and her political ties to the presidency overthrown, she fled the country. And with good reason—the military junta disappeared thousands of people while in power from all walks of life. This is a very sad part of history in Chile still very much relevant today because people are still mourning the loss of their loved ones. Allende was one of the few that was able to escape all of that and has been able to share her thoughts about politics through her writings.
I've always looked up to her because of her powerful writings and talks about Latinos and Latina women. While I don't consider myself to be a feminist (maybe just because of the negative stigma often associated with the term), I do believe in the empowerment of Hispanics--particularly Hispanic women. I saw this talk on TED and its very thought provoking. Isabel Allende is a feminist and she has some wonderful things to say. It's quite long but it's really great!