"It's not about my politics. Something happened way to quick. A bunch of men who played it sick. They divide and conquer" -- Husker Du

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Health, imperialism and black paintings in Madrid

I've been to Madrid for a meeting over the weekend. We've had two days of intense discussions with health activists from the People's Health Movement and REDS, a European network for the right to health.

On Sunday afternoon I had some time to kill before my return flight. Fortunately Thomas, a German activist, had prepared his visit to Madrid better than me and came with a plan. He proposed to make a short visit to the Prado museum. Although it was a two-hour whirlwind tour of this huge museum I was impressed. For one, the museum hosts a marvelous collection of old Flemish paintings. That's not surprising as Flanders used to be a Spanish colony and the colonizers brought home any object of value they could lay their hands on, including our art. Is sixteenth century imperialism any different from these days'?

But what impressed me most of all were Goya's black paintings, a series of 14 paintings he made on the walls of his own house. They are intense and haunting to say the least and make a quick visit to the Prado worthwhile whenever you've got some time to spare in Madrid.

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