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Life without Freedom

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

Can you imagine art without freedom? How far can human creation go when it is subjected to silence by political decision? We believe that art is freedom and therefore, there is no possible scenario to produce art in a mental confinement imposed by man.

By Maibort Petit

A story of a Venezuelan Artists who had to migrate to Bogotá, Colombia

It was an ordinary Sunday on my work trip to Bogotá.

I was exhausted from the lectures, the hustle and bustle of the day to day. Suddenly I decided to sneak into the spaces that the city offers to rethink myself as an individual. Bogotans usually enjoy their customs and art in the Bolívar square in the capital.

Many immerse themselves in the street gatherings, the peddlers' sales, the dances and the cheerful and talkative music characteristic of the city.

From the square you can appreciate the magnificence of the colonial architecture that further embellishes the place, by the background adorned by the green mountains that serve as the veil of the sultana to the Colombian capital.

On the corner, next to the parliament building, a statue of Camilo Torres is posted, threateningly, in the center of the entrance to the Colegio de San Bartolomé. According to the description it was erected in 1960. Jorge Camilo Torres Restrepo was a Colombian Catholic priest, pioneer of Liberation Theology and a member of the guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN). I stopped to reflect on the Jesuits and the role they played in the process that today destroys my beloved Venezuela. I decided to keep walking, and at a slow pace I went into the narrow streets that defied gravity.

There, amid the hubbub, I met several Venezuelan artists who, fleeing the horrors of 21st century socialism, decided to adorn the streets of Bogota with their art, music and voices. And I asked myself, why not make their stories known? I raised them and they accepted.

One of the conversations I had with Felipe Santiago Guevara Camacho, a sublime painter who creates with his brushes [free from the weight of a Maduro dictatorship], works that present a temporary reality, and who, like Plato, positions freedom as an art in a moral, political and aesthetic dimension.

street painting
Street painting by Felipe Santiago Guevara Camacho

MP How do you feel in Bogotá? Why did you have to flee Venezuela and come here to work on a street in Bogotá?

FSGC - "I would say that there are several reasons,

but the background I think we all know.

Before [the socialist revolution] in Venezuela you could make a living.

Before this, what they call revolution ... but I don't know what to call that ... you could make a living from the trade and you didn't live badly

but now let's see who can make a living from the trade [as a painter], from painting in Venezuela ... I don't know if there is anyone who can achieve it. ... I couldn't.

So you have to make changes,

evolve and leave.

If the country doesn't allow it, you go to the neighboring country and the whole panorama immediately changes. "

MP What would you say to people who are thinking that 21st century socialism, socialism per se, is the most noble and kindest system on the planet?

FSGC "Look, I'm not going to tell you what the Socialism of the XXI century is .....

they have already demonstrated what they are.

But simply the crisis in Venezuela is not only because of the socialism of the XXI century. That crisis was already coming and they are like what had already been cooking for many years

with corruption, which still today,

I do not see that there is an opposition in Venezuela,

I am sorry.

In Venezuela there is no opposition. "

MP -In your opinion, what was the most valuable thing in Venezuela and it was lost?

FSGC "Freedom ... simply. Freedom was lost even for the most elementary

... even to eat."

street painter
"I can not live without Freedom "

MP - Can you live without freedom?

FSGC "Well. For me it is impossible


... it is not for nothing but I have friends

who are there in Venezuela .... and they are friends, I appreciate them

... but they are still Homeland, socialism or death.

And that little of slogans and strange things

.... and they are so skinny .... and they say .... they will not return .... and that kind of pods ... I don't know

... I don't understand that ... "

MP_But ... it is clear to you that socialism is a failure ..

FSGC "Of course ... of course ... I don't know for whom ... well for them it is a triumph ... for those who are at the top only ..."

MP - A very small minority?

FSGC "Of course ... of course ..."

MP The American today is evaluating socialism ...

FSGC And do you see it as an option? Hahaha

MP What would you tell them?

FSGC "What I think is that they are becoming naïve ..."

MP When did you do this work, were you inspired by Venezuelan justice? or in what ...

FSGC (Laughter) "No. Noo ... this is supposed to be the Colombian justice ... but it is not for nothing ... because Colombia has treated me very well ... super well ... but many Colombians see four and they ask me which justice ".

MP ... Maybe you don't know what happened in Venezuela yet ...

FSGC "Of course in Venezuela we were happy and we did not know it.,"

MP That's right ... you want to send a message to the Venezuelans of the diaspora that is scattered all over the world.

FSGC "Well then ... maybe there is not much I can contribute but it is a struggle ... In other words, being away from your home,

away from your home

... being in someone else's home demands you.

And well, there is to measure up.

MP Thank you very much ....

These are the works, there are many artists who had to flee from Venezuela when they were threatened to expropriate their freedom.

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