November 11, 2022
Prolific Nicaraguan writer and former Vice President of Nicaragua Sergio Ramírez Mercado visited the campus on November 9, giving a talk on the value of journalism and the fight against authoritarianism, two topics that resonate deeply with his own career. .
Ramírez was introduced by Assistant Professor Bucknell of Studio Art Eddy Lopez, who gave a brief description of Ramírez’s work and career throughout the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, summarizing his role as Vice President as well as his long career as a novelist.
Lopez pointed to Ramírez’s most recent post”Tongolele no Sabia Bailarand how that resulted in his political exile from Nicaragua in recent years.
The conference began with a question from Ramírez; is it possible to mix two professions, that of writer and that of politician?
He then answered his own question, saying that for himself he needed to consult his own life and experience. Widely considered the best-known Nicaraguan writer despite various attempts to censor his works, Ramírez stressed that the role of a journalist or writer, whether in the safest or most secure political or social circumstances dangerous, is not that of a missionary, but that of a person with a civic duty to write the truth of his nation and the people of that nation.
This message was followed by a comparison between “private” and “public” life, the latter being described by Ramírez as the image of a nation and a general impulse on its well-being, the former being the domain in which journalists and novelists investigate and are able to portray the truth through.
He stressed the importance of understanding people and individual stories and, as he described it, representing the “lowercase stories within the story of the capital ‘H'”.
The conference ended with a bilingual Q&A session, where Ramírez answered questions from students and faculty in both Spanish and English.
When asked why Ramírez felt that discussions of this type were important in places like universities, he replied that “the university community is a place to form ideas”, reinforcing the idea that presentations such as the one he gave are only a starting point for individuals. go out into the world and act with it.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics Ivan Velasquez was also asked to comment on why he felt the event was important to Bucknell.
“It’s important to understand the world through people who have been involved directly and in their own country,” Ramírez said. “It is important for students at Bucknell to have a Latin American perspective when thinking about these [political]problems.”
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