Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yoani Sánchez meets Julia Styles

The net equals People 2 People Power and it brought together two women who might otherwise have never heard of each other.

One of them is Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez.

In 2008, “On a recent morning”, she “took a deep breath and gathered her nerve for an undercover mission: posting an Internet chronicle about life in Fidel Castro’s Cuba,” p2pnet quoted the Wall Street Journal as saying, going on:

“To get around Cuba’s restrictions on Web access, the waif-like 32-year-old posed as a tourist to slip into an Internet cafe in one of the city’s luxury hotels, which normally bar Cubans. Dressed in gray surf shorts, T-shirt and lime-green espadrilles, she strode toward a guard at the hotel’s threshold and flashed a wide smile. The guard, a towering man with a shaved head, stepped aside.

” I think I’m able to do this because I look so harmless,’ says Ms. Sánchez, who says she is sometimes mistaken for a teenager. Once inside the cafe, she attached a flash memory drive to the hotel computer and, in quick, intense movements, uploaded her material. Time matters: The $3 she paid for a half-hour is nearly a week’s wage for many Cubans.”

Named by Time as one of the top 100 most influential people, she was awarded the Ortega and Gasset prize for digital journalism, one of Spain`s top journalism awards, said the Havana Journal, going on:

“Spanish newspaper El Pais, which awards the prize annually, said Sanchez won it for her ’shrewdness’ in overcoming hurdles to freedom of expression in Cuba, her ‘vivacious’ style and her drive to join the ‘global space of citizen journalism’.”

The other is American actress Julia Stiles of the The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Supremacy (among others) fame.

“The snack bar on 13th between F and G — that afternoon on December — is full of security agents and admirers”, writes Yoani in her Generation Y blog, continuing:

The first are the ones who follow this restless blogger, like a tragicomic troupe that dances around my body, my house; the second pursued the radiant face of the actress Julia Stiles, with her laugh from the full-color big screen. Enormous confusion, when they watched the girl who plays the role of Nicky Parsons sitting at the same table with the author of Generation Y, and chatting affectionately. But yes, the famous New Yorker reads my virtual diary, is interested in scratching below the surface of the picture postcard images that export our reality. She barely wanted to talk about herself, although I wanted to know more about her professional life, or even stoop to ask for an autograph.

Julia and I are of that generation of American and Cubans who have been separated and faced with the rhetoric far from our own desires. Descendants of the Montagues and Capulets who tried to pass on to us their grudges and hatreds. But looking objectively, they didn’t manage it, and the result has been quite the opposite. Close, but separated, similar and yet set at odds, like many young people from here and from there we are tired of this outdated “cold war” and its consequences in our lives. So the meeting with Julia had the character of a reconciliation, as if in the middle of combat two opponents approach each other and begin feel each other out, to embrace.

No one in the cafeteria heard the noise of arms being tossed aside, not even those who were there to watch us saw how we dismantled the walls separating us. In the end, the smiling girl from the movies and the girl from Havana who should have been the “New Man” hugged each other and said, “See you later.” Each went to her own side, returned to her life, in front of the cameras or in front of the keyboard, in the Big Apple or in a Yugoslav-model building.

“But since that afternoon, whenever I hear the television seething against our neighbors to the north, I recall Julia, and it is a kind of therapy to remember her laugh and the little armistice we managed that da”, adds Yoani on Generation Y.

From: P2P

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