Adolfo Pérez Esquivel presented “The other look”, a book made up of eleven stories referring to different moments and trips that he made during his life. With a foreword by the journalist Stella calloni and editing of Ciccus, the Nobel Peace Prize It narrates various tragic events in the history of humanity, such as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, state terrorism in Argentina or the war in Iraq or Vietnam recreated in a literary way.
In communication with AM750 He told the details of the book but also gave his opinion on the elections in Argentina and reflected on the world situation in times of pandemic.
– What was it that inspired you to write this book?
– I always write. I wrote this book some time ago in different parts of the world such as Japan, the United States, Latin America and Argentina. In the trips I make the main bases of the stories and stories and when I arrive in the country I give them a literary structure giving a bit of spirit to the situation that is being experienced, because otherwise they would be very sad stories. It is a very special book because it has to do with times of life, anxiety, hopes, pain and struggle of different peoples of the world.
– In “The Shadow and the Stone” you tell the bombing in Hiroshima from the perspective of a victim and the survivors …
– That is a story that I wrote after several trips to Japan where I had the opportunity to speak with the hibakusha, the survivors of the bombing. In that story I tell how the attack surprises a victim sitting on a stone. When the bomb falls, this person disintegrates but his image remains engraved on that stone. I begin to speak with the shadow of that person and she tells me what she suffered but also tells me stories of the survivors with whom I spoke and tells me that the hibakusha can grow old but that she will be on that stone until eternity.
– In one of the stories you talk about crimes against humanity in the last Argentine dictatorship …
– I am a survivor of the death flights. In that story, I tell the story of a fisherman in the area who one afternoon goes fishing and two young victims of State terrorism are trapped in his nets. There I also tell about the persecution in the islands of Tigre.
– What were you looking for with the writing of this book?
– My intention was that we can look inside and discover who we are to know what our path is. What is sown, is reaped, if solidarity is sown it has to grow. We have to start from what unites us, from what gives us strength to move forward and we have to discover it in others. We are experiencing very difficult times on a global scale. We cannot have the golden calf as a god and think that the only thing that matters is profit. You have to change the economy, the way of living and doing.
– In that sense, what are you seeing in this world of pandemic?
– The pandemic exposed social inequality. Rich countries have concentrated vaccines and have forgotten about poor countries. The pharmaceutical industry did not have the greatness to donate patents as if it happened with the polio vaccine. This is a shame. There is increasing closure. I believe that capitalism is never going to be humanized. Big capital is not going to distribute its resources simply because capitalism was born without a heart. The world must understand that the coronavirus pandemic is no accident. It is due to the mistreatment of human beings to mother nature. A Greek philosopher said 25 centuries ago that “the health of humanity is the reflection of the health of the Earth.” There the seriousness of the problem is showing us. The devastation, the deforestation, pollution of rivers and seas, mega-mining makes us sicker and sicker. We are going through a collective suicide caused by the great powers where those who suffer are the poorest and most impoverished countries.
– Last week you were met with Evo Morales, Alberto Fernández and Rafael Correa. How are you seeing the situation in the region?
– On Latin America progressivism is recovering its strength. We must regain continental unity. We must restore dialogue between union leaders, social movements and Human Rights organizations in the region. We are on that path. In 2022, in Brazil, Lula Da Silva can give a strong boost to the big country. He is strong ahead of the presidential elections. Bolsonaro’s management was disastrous for the life of the Brazilian people. It is destroying the Amazon and is responsible for many, many deaths because of its disdain for the coronavirus situation.
– Next Sunday are the legislative elections in Argentina. What do you think could happen in the elections?
– I hope that people reason. I think what happened in the PASO was a rough vote, a vote of disappointment at the confinement and the lack of employment, but the Government has made an enormous effort, not only to obtain vaccines, but also to assist the neediest sectors with resources to live. I think that now the government should focus on creating jobs. In addition, Argentina must advance towards the production of generic public medicines. Progress must also be made towards food sovereignty in the hands of the small and medium rural producer.
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Adolfo Pérez Esquivel: “Capitalism will never be humanized”