The Troubled Colombian Image: Part I

Posted December 6, 2009 by newcolombia
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La Sierra documentary - discussing the negative image on Colombia portrayed in films of the past 20 years.

I am finally sitting down to write a small contribution to those who may not have been exposed to movies on Colombia or by Colombian directors. The movie industry is indeed one of the main culprits of the distorted image of Colombia – some of which is earned and true but the sole focus on mafia, drugs, violence and kidnappings creates a distorted image.

The image one gets from some of these movies and the image that seems to prevail is that a Colombian is synonymous to not only crime and murder but to VICIOUS crime: it is almost like saying that to die is one thing but to be killed by a Colombian is ‘More Terrible Than Death’. Well, that is unfortunately exactly the title of an excellent book by Robin Kirk of Human Rights Watch ( But the point is that book was written in 2002 and now we are finishing off 2009 – that creates the discrepancy and the opportunity to support all those positive developments in this beautiful country.

So I went to Colombia for the first time in 2008 – and had a wonderful time in Medellin. Only after returning did I start to research how the rest of the world forms their perception of the country. I went on Amazon and typed in the keyword ‘Colombia’ and bought pretty much everything that showed up. Including a couple of movies that shocked me considerably – especially ‘La Sierra’ and ‘Virgen de los Sicarios’. Then I watched La Vendedora de Rosas and Rodrigo D and they did not make me feel one single bit better. Was it really me who had just visited that city?? No wonder my friends here think I am crazy – those movies can give you goosebumps, seriously. And finally I got my hands on Cocaine Cowboys 1 & 2 and not only did it make me feel sick but I felt very sorry for the glorification of crime in the American culture, especially among the rap/gangsta culture.

So let’s build a list here, see what we’ve got and discuss it a bit. Feel free to complete the list and make comments. Read the rest of this post »


First Note from Medellin

Posted November 2, 2009 by newcolombia
Categories: Uncategorized

Preparing mobile storytelling tools in Medellin. 3.5G unlimited prepaid for USD 30 per month. A geek is a geek everywhere...

Here I am – in Medellin. It is actually raining a lot but that gives more time to prepare for my @newcolombia project and to research all the tools necessary. I am indeed very excited about having fixed my Nokia N95 to work with Qik so that I can broadcast with a USD 30 flat monthly fee (the 3.5G data offering from Tigo) from anywhere in the city.

Another thing I am fascinated about is the Kodak Zi-8 HDV pocket camera… It is amazing what you can nowadays fit in a package costing $150… I just got it at Jef Pulver’s #140conf and I have yet to use it here. Having said that, there are still conditions where a Nokia N95 with low-light settings beats any pocket camera for both video and stills…

What would you guys like to see from here? What do you think of Colombia as of today? Hmmm.. Maybe I should actually also start a FB group…

Please take this as my hobby at this point – to learn mobile storytelling. I am not launching any business out of this at this point but I have to say I am fascinated about Colombia. I am fascinated to be in a place where Americans think I will be murdered in the most gruesome fashion tonight… or at least before I return. And that’s not true at all. As in most countries of this kind, a murder has to be pre-approved by a capo and I have nothing to do with those circles.

Please tell your friends if you feel they might want to follow my adventures here and ask them to follow me here or on Twitter. More platforms under preparation.

All the best,

Testing New Colombia blog platforms

Posted October 19, 2009 by newcolombia
Categories: Uncategorized

Hi there!  We are planning to launch a blog here to tell the story of positive developments in the Colombian society.  At the moment we are evaluating shortlisted blog platforms – stay tuned!  In the meantime please visit and follow us on Twitter: @newcolombia.

Best regards,

The New Colombia Team

Hello world!

Posted October 19, 2009 by newcolombia
Categories: Uncategorized

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