Leo Espinosa
My Colombian War
Today, as thousands of Colombians protested in marches organized all over the world against FARC, the terrorist group that under a fake mask of socialist ideologies has killed and kidnapped innocents for more than four decades, I felt a little more at ease with my own self.
Wait, that sounded kind of dense so let me back up a bit:
For the past couple of months I've been reading My Colombian War, A journey through the country I left behind, a very haunting book written by Silvana Paternostro, a Colombian-born journalist based in New York, who's articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review and Newsweek. Her book, a great source of history and political information (not to mention an eye opener to the brutality and violence that has become everyday's bread in my country) was also a mirror to my own identity -or my lack of it- since it shows Colombia's situation from the point of view of the expatriated, the critical and annoyed expatriated that has managed to put him or herself in a very uneasy limbo that doesn't allow a sense of belonging here nor there.
Half way through my reading I had the idea of drawing something on the cover and then later send it to the author, but I didn't really wanted to illustrate anything specific from any chapter. The need  to do something on the cover grew stronger and stronger but I forced myself to read slowly so not to miss a word.
Right after attending the demonstration here in Boston, I got home, read the epilogue and drew without thinking. The image that emerged from my pencil was of a fertile, fertile but wounded woman laying on the ground, seen her children, the children that she cannot feed or take care of, kind of floating around her. I got the acrylics and painted over my drawing as fast as I could, swallowing tears but with an enormous positive feeling: There has to be an end to every sickness and this one cannot be stealing more lives, there has to be an end to suffering and change should take place. Today, although I know that change could take a while, I felt faith.
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