Monday, September 25

the other france

There was a time when we looked at each other in a France with hair garçonthoughtful, elegant, avant-garde. It was the France of philosophy and song, of the endless debate and the essential novel, the France that had been resistant, the France where Paris was. And Cortázar and Pizarnik took refuge in Paris. It was the France of Camus, everything has been said. The conscientious elite. The quintessence of the Europe that fought totalitarianism.

But it was also the collaborationist France, the colonialist France, the France that tortured in Algeria. It is the France of Marine Le Pen, that of the unexpected electoral triumph – they say – even for herself. As if she hadn’t seen it coming, urn after urn. Now all of France talks about the failure of the cordon sanitaire, although what fails is a human species that does not learn from the worst, neither Camus nor Sartre nor Beauvoir nor Weil by means of it. Now the National Assembly will have no choice but to open the ancient doors of its conscience to 89 deputies from the extreme right, when before the legislative elections only I was 8, which is enough.

This Europe at war, this sad Europe that breathes a sigh of relief if in Andalusia the gentlemen serve as a firewall from their brutish cousins, this Europe whose only ideal is once again NATO, could, however, have a mirror in which to look at itself. Another France. She is far away, she is black, her last name is Márquez. She is the first Afro woman to hold the vice presidency of Colombia. She represents hope, not only in Latin America but in the world. In Europe too. France Marquez. While Europe is sick with racism, bowing to neoliberalism, Colombia asks for power from a woman who cleaned the houses of whites, perhaps French houses, a woman who has received death threats and has campaigned with a bulletproof vest to transform “patriarchal Colombia, hegemonic, racist and classist”. In Brazil they are already looking at themselves in the mirror of that France. And in Ecuador. With Colombia at the forefront, Latin America is rearming feminism, environmental awareness, social justice and historical dignity. While Europe militarizes, Spain surrenders to the arms industry. Mirror Mirror.

The France in which to look at is no longer in Europe. The France to look at is in Colombia. In Europe there is the France of fear, the racist, fascist, military France. In Colombia there is the France that embodies a true left, the France that turns its back on the elites and comes to turn off the tap of their privileges, the black and indigenous France, the France of a diverse feminism, so different from the French, the Inclusive France, the poor and hard-working France that is not fooled, as in France, by its main enemies, the France of the community, so different from communal individualism, the tasty France, so different from the indigestible cooking. The other France. Hopefully France will become all of Latin America. I wish the France of Europe had the last name Márquez.