• Departure

    “Despite all sense of belonging and nationality, nobody can make you stay in a place that is dangerous and unfavorable to you.” Exiled writer Israel Centeno on the power of leaving and the pain of leaving Venezuela.

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  • Ten Most-Read Columns of 2013

    We look back at the most-read columns of 2013, featuring contributions from Tarik Günersel (Turkey), Bina Shah (Pakistan), Khet Mar (Burma), Israel Centeno (Venezuela), Hamdy el-Gazzar (Egypt), Tienchi Martin-Liao (China), Horacio Castellanos Moya (El Salvador), and Yaghoub Yadali (Iran).

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  • Saskatchewan Crossing
    Saskatchewan

    “Expatriation—waking up one morning startled by agoraphobia, sentenced and expelled with no possibility of return—has another name and, why not, another destination: Saskatchewan.” Israel Centeno on Richard Ford’s novel, Canada.

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  • Fernando Pessoa Collage
    Saudade, Hiraeth, and Hüzün

    Writer Israel Centeno’s ‘search to ascribe a tangible meaning to the oblique feeling that goes above and beyond simple nostalgia’ has led him to a close reading of Fernando Pessoa’s works and the stories of Venezuelan writer Enza García Arreaza.

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  • Hiraeth and Black Sand
    Black Sand and Hiraeth

    Continuing with his discussion on exile, writer Israel Centeno offers an examination of the word “hiraeth” – “that unattainable yearning felt for a person, figure, or even nation that probably never existed” – and a reading of Black Sand, a novel by Venezuelan author Juan Carlos Méndez Guedéz.

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  • Aleph
    Notes on Leaving

    “When you face up to those in power you always do it from the periphery, whether you are in a neighborhood in Maracaibo, a housing estate in Valencia, a university in Caracas, or in any other part of the world.” Venezuelan writer Israel Centeno on exile and the ongoing struggle with having left.

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  • Student Protest
    Existential Exile

    “My exile began long ago, before I left Venezuela.” Author Israel Centeno – former City of Asylum Pittsburgh exiled writer-in-residence – on how the extreme political polarization and violence that swept through the country in recent years has torn apart relationships and his beloved Caracas.

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  • Chavez cutout
    Notes on Venezuela

    In this week’s column, Israel Centeno takes a look at the political myth-making behind “Chavismo”, which he describes as “a religious movement,” fifteen years in the making, used by the government to veil the country’s deepening economic and social crisis.

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