Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam  | April – June

Curator: Madelon van Schie 


Jonathas de Andrade, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Alfredo Márquez, Leticia El Halli Obeid, Oscar Abraham Pabón, Wilfredo Prieto, Laercio Redondo.


“In Dictados (2009) Leticia El Halli Obeid travels by train from the centre of Buenos Aires to a suburban district while copying the Carta de Jamaica by the nineteenth century liberator Simón Bolívar by hand. Among the visions Bolivar unfolds in this idealistic 1815 discourse is his prospect for a united and free America, and he calls upon Europe to sup- port Latin Americans in their struggle for independence. Particularly after leaving the centre of Buenos Aires, as El Halli Obeid goes farther into divulging the content of Carta de Jamaica while passing through different urban areas, the more a certain tart image of inequality begins to force it- self onto the viewer. One is almost automatically compelled to begin comparing Bolivar’s political and social ideals
with the present state of affairs in Argentina or, mutatis mutandis, all of Latin America. Two centuries after Bolivar’s call to action, the concept of freedom still appears to be utopian.

Subsequently Dictados unerringly zeros in on the problem of translating the highest ideals, such as those expounded by Bolívar, into practice. As becomes clear in one of the quotes seen from the letter; “It is more difficult, says Montesquieu, to free a nation from slavery than to enslave a free nation.”

Madelon Van Schie, curator.