So I dispatched with some of my duties for this morning, like the 74-word event blurb for Bluestockings:
Militant anthropologist Adrienne Pine and documentary filmmaker Oscar Estrada present a joint reading of Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras and screening of El Porvenir (subtitled in English). The event highlights the links between Mano Dura mercenary justice in Honduras (based on Giuliani’s zero tolerance policy in NYC), the U.S. war on terror, IMF and World Bank policy, the international prison-industrial complex, Honduran prison massacres, Central American gangs, and sweatshop labor.
...and the 246 word abstract for "Mercenary Justice and Masculinity in Urban Honduras":
In Honduras, poor young men have become victims of what Nancy Scheper-Hughes has elsewhere termed an invisible genocide. Since 1998, well over 4,000 children and young adults, mostly male, have been victims of extrajudicial killings carried largely out by hired private security guards, gang members, and off-duty police officers in this small country. The violence has only increased as a result of the 2002 implementation of Zero Tolerance, modeled after former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s crime control policy of the same name, and the ongoing “Mano Dura,” or “Strong Fist” policies carried out throughout Central America. In this paper I argue that young urban men have become an “excess demographic” through displacement and unemployment. Largely unemployable by the ubiquitous maquiladora industry, which prefers to hire young women, and without land for farming, these excess young men find themselves unable to support their families, emasculated, and labeled as dangerous. Painted by the media as delincuentes and targeted by anti-gang laws that criminalize poverty, they have become a target for state-sanctioned mercenary violence. The attack on young men is carried out not only through death squads and drive-by shootings; it also takes place on an ideological level, and is promoted by seemingly disparate institutions. Through an exploration of various gendered disciplinary institutions, including Alcoholics Anonymous, evangelical Christianity, and the maquiladora industry, this paper demonstrates the ways in which discourses and practices allied with neoliberal economic restructuring have turned Honduran masculinity into a deadly category.
I also wrote some of those pending emails, and contacted some radio stations. Hey, if you, dear reader, have ideas about how to get the word out for these events, do tell. I haven't found a venue in Boston yet—my brother Ben, who has insisted on going by "Benny" since college, has graciously offered to host at his fabulously hip restaurant, The Savant Project, but I prefer an independent bookstore where I can do a serious reading and sell books. Still, it's nice to have a backup. I'm also thinking about Philly in early August.
Anyway, my travel plans have been changed again. The really nice AA agent I spoke with when investigating a flight change the other day called me today to tell me that the closure of TGU had been extended, and my new flight (for tomorrow) was canceled. We tried to reroute me to San Pedro Sula, but while we were discussing the possibilities, all the flights for the next week filled up. So my plan now is to fly to San Salvador and bus it to Teguz. Insha'alla. Problem is, when I called back after investigating to set this up, I got a total jerk who refused to change my flight. After half an hour of being put on hold and lectured at about the importance of some 14-digit number that I don't have, I asked him to transfer me back to the nice agent, but he wouldn't.
So now, I'm waiting for my travel agent in Egypt to fix it for me. The AUC travel office has been really friendly, even as my travel requests get weirder and weirder, so I'm hoping that in their morning (my midnight) they'll be able to put my new plan in motion. Among other things, this means I need to buy a new external hard drive to back up before I go. I don't want to put a percentage on the likelihood that my laptop will be stolen en route, but I'm guessing it's fairly high, and the backup hard drive I have back in my Rehab apartment in Cairo won't do me much good for writing my 5 articles this summer. At the same time, I'm not particularly worried. People spend way too much time being afraid of each other in Central America, even if that feeling is based on very concrete experience. The best I can do is plan for the worse, and then not stress about it.
I called Elena and spoke to...damn, I can't remember his pseudonym...Teto's youngest brother. Just hearing his voice made me so happy. I asked him for advice about buses, and he said my plan sounded good. I asked if it was seguro and he said sure, and then caught himself. "I mean, you know how it is..." I laughed and told him yes. What he meant, of course, is that nothing is ever seguro there, but taking a bus from San Salvador to Teguz was no less seguro than doing anything else. I can't believe how much I miss them, and how excited I am to see them all, Abril especially. Just the way he kept calling me "vos"—it makes me want to lose my Mexican accent. Chale.