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Jackson, Marsha Hunt’s death: time to tell truths and correct a nation’s course

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Marsha Hunt
Former actress and Screen Actors Guild board member Marsha Hunt, from a cropped and electronically tweaked Wikimedia photo by Gazebo. Read one of the more conventional news stories about Ms. Hunt’s passing here.

Ugly old truths when freedom is on the line in the USA

by Eric Jackson

When you are my age and leftist politics have run in the family for three generations — back to the Wobblies and through the Young People’s Socialist League before I came along — then situations like this do shape an attitude about the FBI.

However, get educated in history and political science, formally but much more on the informal side that comes with activism, and then there come some certain understandings.

Like about the perverse nature of men like J. Edgar Hoover and Roy Cohn, which perversion has nothing to do with their homosexuality except perhaps that Hoover was one to blackmail other gay men about their private lives.

Like the notion that, within the ranks of the Screen Actors Guild among other things its one-time president Ronald Reagan was a terrible scab.

Like about how the USA, despite the FBI’s criminal COINTELPRO conspiracy — to prevent the rise of a black messiah among other things — a large and prosperous nation like the USA does need an organized spy-catcher function which as things are set up is within the FBI’s bailiwick.

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Put on my Panamanian citizen hat and my attitudes and understandings about the National Police have different particulars but run in parallel. As indeed the situation of Panama is different, but what happened to Father Héctor Gallego, Heliodoro Portugal and dozens of others are worse but akin offenses to what the FBI et al did to Marsha Hunt, Dorothy Parker, Dalton Trumbo and so many others in the creative pursuits in the USA. Closer analogies to some of the worst things that the dictatorship’s sapos did were an FBI informant in the assailants’ car when Viola Liuzzo was murdered, FBI and NYPD red squad agents on the scene when Malcom X was gunned down, the FBI / Chicago police death squad murder of Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and so on.

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Put on my progressive DEMOCRAT hat, and I WISH FOR, but DO NOT EXPECT, the Biden administration to say a few things about Marsha Hunt and what was done to her by the FBI and allied agencies.

Like to acknowledge who and what Roy Cohn was — among these things Donald Trump’s mentor and also a tormentor of so many who had worked as actors, directors, producers, writers and so on.

Like to figuratively spit in the faces of the likes of Ron DeSantis and retell the tale of what J. Edgar Hoover et al did to so many black people and organizations, to tell it as AMERICAN HISTORY even as today’s racists will denigrate that truth as “CRT.”

Especially like to draw the line between the lying oppressive authoritarianism that Americans have known and that the MAGAs would even more deeply embed in the fabric of a great nation, and a Democratic policy of exposing and rejecting that stuff and standing for freedom instead.

I have no idea of this woman’s and her family’s or friends’ funeral arrangements, but it would be so fitting and proper to see someone from the Biden administration give a eulogy, or make some other statement of analogous prominence, about the sad chapter that stunted Marsha Hunt’s professional life.

 

 

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An informal business survey from the bus stop
Una encuesta de empresas informales desde la caseta

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Stand 1
The stand almost directly across the Pan-American Highway appears to prosper, although it was not all that busy on a Saturday afternoon. This, and the other micro-establishments shown on this page, are all along the eastbound land from Penonome to Anton. On a Sunday there will be more traffic that direction, and people wanting to buy things to take back to the city with them.
El kiosko casi directamente al otro lado de la Carretera Panamericana parece prosperar, aunque no estaba tan ocupado un sábado por la tarde. Este y los otros micro-empresas que se muestran en esta página están a lo largo de la tierra hacia el este desde Penonome hasta Anton. Un domingo habrá más tráfico en esa dirección y gente que quiere comprar cosas para llevarse a la ciudad.

The Establishment rarely counts them, but informal establishments do count
El Establecimiento rara vez las cuenta, pero las empresas informales sí cuentan

photos and caption by Eric Jackson

 

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Like most new businesses, new informal business also usually fail.
Como la mayoría de los nuevos negocios, los nuevos negocios informales también suelen fracasar.

 

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This one is closed on this afternoon, but not abandoned.
Este está cerrada esta tarde, pero no abandonado.

 

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Three that are grouped together and apparently thrive.
Tres que se agrupan y aparentemente prosperan.
 

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Dinero

¿Wappin? Now he’s the king / Ya es el rey

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PT
Charles III, as prince, visiting New Zealand in 2015. Photo by Corporal Brad Hanson, New Zealand Defense Forces. Tonight’s selections are from concerts for The Prince’s Trust over the years.

Mostly a cultural leader and symbol for the English-speaking world

The Corrs – Breathless
https://youtu.be/oU3qYzEClqU

Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer
https://youtu.be/ftB23tIV_i8

Blondie – Maria
https://youtu.be/qWhhrUo-xvM

David Bowie & Mick Jagger – Dancing in the Streets
https://youtu.be/wpJzB5xsG1I

Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is A Place On Earth
https://youtu.be/5di7jNSD94U

Shania Twain – That Don’t Impress Me Much
https://youtu.be/1Rv0aco8Hm0

Mike + The Mechanics – The Living Years
https://youtu.be/RBakPOq7l-Q

Alanis Morissette – Ironic
https://youtu.be/JHtaXoWC96w

Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Homeless
https://youtu.be/QYwEoyk-XUk

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
https://youtu.be/J8CCsR7Bu8o

Eric Clapton – Layla
https://youtu.be/tQsqLx0yYXQ

Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass
https://youtu.be/v8ewtHx33jM

Dire Straits – The Prince’s Trust Rock Gala 1985
https://youtu.be/4BUvXRxa9Dk

 

 

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Gutman, “The Cuba issue” and actual history

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next Lt. Governor
Ron DeSantis’s defamation squad, busily trashing the leader of the Miami area teachers’ union, who is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. Their main slop is that when Fidel Castro died she acknowledged that the dictatorship had supporters in Cuba. DeSantis won’t, however, acknowledged the bomb that his friends tried to set off in Panama City, which would have leveled the University of Panama central campus and killed patients, doctors, nurses and orderlies at the hospital complex across the street. No need to hear ANYTHING that the book ban guy says about freedom.

When Cuba was America’s bordello

by W. E. Gutman

The ever-vindictive, eager-to-be-despised former President Trump’s ban on travel to Cuba was an act of infantile churlishness. He justified it by claiming that the island nation plays a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere and provides a “communist” foothold in the region by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes. Mr. Trump declined to respond to charges that the United States continues to destabilize the Third World by encouraging fascist footholds or propping up dictators and by fomenting insecurity and suppressing democratic processes in developing countries.

And when then-presidential contender, Senator Bernie Sanders, casually but justifiably praised Fidel Castro’s literacy initiatives, Mr. Trump, who worships tyrants pounced on the Vermont lawmaker, accusing him of deifying a dictator and promoting “communism.”

Whoa! President Fulgencio Batista, the man Castro unseated, was a despot under whose governance horrific human rights violations were committed against the Cuban people. Batista, “our man in Cuba,” suspended the 1940 Constitution and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who operated the largest sugar plantations and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between Cuba’s rich and poor. Eventually, most of the sugar industry was in US hands, and foreigners owned 70 percent of the arable land.

Batista’s repressive government then began to profit from the exploitation of Cuba’s commercial interests by negotiating lucrative relationships with both the States-side mob, which controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution rackets in Havana, and with large US-based multinational companies that were awarded lucrative contracts. To quell the growing discontent among the populace — displayed through frequent student riots and demonstrations — Batista established tighter censorship of the media, while also utilizing his Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities (secret police) to carry out wide-scale violence, torture, and public executions. The long-awaited and since petulantly rescinded rapprochement between Cuba and the United States had been heartily applauded. Friendship and cooperation are always preferable to enmity, isolation, and distrust, especially in an epoch of worldwide turmoil and volatility.

Should things improve with Biden in the White House, I hope the good people of Cuba will restrict their association with the United States to those trade and cultural transactions that are of clear benefit to Cubans, that do not compromise the sovereignty of their nation, and that do not imperil the hard-fought Revolution. Cubans old enough to look back to the dark days of the Batista dictatorship will remember that Cuba, at the time, was a Mafia political puppet and America’s whorehouse. It would be a great tragedy if normalization of relations between the two countries resulted in the economic buyout of Cuba by US capitalist interests … and organized crime. Such takeover would inevitably bring back the corruptive influences and misdeeds that precipitated the downfall of Cuba’s economy in the 1950s. While I cannot hide my displeasure at some of Cuba’s Stalin-style inequities and aberrations, I salute its brave and forbearing citizens.

Born in Paris, W. E. Gutman is a retired Franco-American journalist and a published author. A former writer at the late-great futurist magazine, OMNI, and an ex-press attaché at Israel’s Consulate General in New York, he reported from Central America from 1994 to 2006.

 

 

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Editorials: A REAL steal that Panama needs to stop; and MAGA melt

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Sitton and EPASA
My, my, what wimpishness it all comes down to – Team Martinelli, nailed on Odebrecht bribes, now pleads through newspapers it bought with stolen government funds and on Twitter that the PRD government that came before Don Ricky also took from the Brazilians. This is probably true, but it’s no excuse.

Time to confiscate stolen media

The plan is to stall until the courts find a way to declare everything barred by the statutes of limitation, claim that this proves innocence, buy a way back into power and then prosecute everyone who publishes the truth for telling lies about Ricardo Martinelli.

A smash-and-grab culture that has a death grip on the PRD, disarray in all of the other political circles – at least at the moment – could make it happen the year after next.

The most obnoxious alternatives to that are being put forward:

*Fewer elected legislators, making it far more expensive to run for public office, giving the rich and those funded by the rich the only chance.

* Xenophobia and religious bigotry, blaming everything on the foreigners or the queers instead of dealing with the politically systemic and culturally embedded corruption that we have here.

* Now that the government has been looted to the brink of bankruptcy, privatizing everything.

Panama needs a revolution, starting not from Marxist texts or violent Hollywood fiction, but from deep introspection among millions of individuals, and a firm decision that we as human beings and as a nation don’t want to live this way anymore.

Arguments about whether we should take this path or that one? Those are freedoms essential to an informed democracy. Scurrilous arguments via a media empire created from stolen public funds? That’s licentious criminal behavior, and it’s being used to mobilize public wrath against proper legal proceedings to right the wrongs by which Martinelli acquired the EPASA newspapers.

As a basic matter of national defense, El Panama America, La Critica and Dia a Dia – the whole EPASA business that was purchased with stolen money laundered through the New Business “factoring company” – needs to be nationalized and should be reorganized and continued as public property.

What to do, other than hand it to a new crowd of predators from the political caste, is a difficult problem to consider. Such knotty problems should not be allowed to excuse the continuing act of corruption that Martinelli’s media empire is.

 

After Trump won the GOP primaries, his party is in deep trouble and splintering.

GOP meltdown happening before our eyes – but not to be taken for granted

The MAGA world is crumbling, but it won’t go down without a fight, a shout, a whimper and a slew of attack ads. There are a couple of months of furious campaigning on both sides, but American citizens who live in Panama should be getting our absentee ballots ordered. The conspiracy theorists would leave it up to Q to decide, but it’s the voters who must decide. Register and vote.

MAGA Melt

 

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Calvin

Letting your mind play is the best way to solve problems.

Bill Watterson

Bear in mind…

I come to ask you to help to win this fight. If we win it, this hardest of all fights, then, to be sure, in the future it is going to be made easier for women all over the world to win their fight when their time comes.

Emmeline Pankhurst

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized. But, my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Nelson Mandela

People say to me all the time, “You have no fear.” I tell them, “No, that’s not true. I’m scared all the time. You have to have fear in order to have courage. I’m a courageous person because I’m a scared person.”

Ronda Rousey

 

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Presidente Laurentino Cortizo Cohen sobre el fallecimiento de la reina Isabel II

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Liz
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The Bidens on the late Queen Elizabeth II

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high places

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era.

In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity.

She was the first British monarch to whom people all around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection—whether they heard her on the radio as a young princess speaking to the children of the United Kingdom, or gathered around their televisions for her coronation, or watched her final Christmas speech or her Platinum Jubilee on their phones. And she, in turn, dedicated her whole life to their service.

Supported by her beloved Prince Philip for 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example. She endured the dangers and deprivations of a world war alongside the British people and rallied them during the devastation of a global pandemic to look to better days ahead. Through her dedication to her patronages and charities, she supported causes that uplifted people and expanded opportunity. By showing friendship and respect to newly independent nations around the world, she elevated the cause of liberty and fostered enduring bonds that helped strengthen the Commonwealth, which she loved so deeply, into a community to promote peace and shared values.

Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special.

We first met the Queen in 1982, traveling to the UK as part of a Senate delegation. And we were honored that she extended her hospitality to us in June 2021 during our first overseas trip as President and First Lady, where she charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom. All told, she met 14 American presidents. She helped Americans commemorate both the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown and the bicentennial of our independence. And she stood in solidarity with the United States during our darkest days after 9/11, when she poignantly reminded us that “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing a close friendship with The King and The Queen Consort. Today, the thoughts and prayers of people all across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief. We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are not only mourning their Queen, but their dear mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world.

 

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A malaria vaccine in the works

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malaria
“We really could be looking at a very substantial reduction in that horrendous burden of malaria,” said one of the researchers involved. The complex life cycle of P. falciparum (the malaria parasite): Wikimedia graphic by Bonam, Srinivasa R., Laurent Rénia, Ganesh Tadepalli, Jagadeesh Bayry, and Halmuthur M.S. Kumar.

Scientists develop malaria vaccine
with ‘world-changing’ potential

by Kenny Stancil — Common Dreams

Scientists from the University of Oxford have developed a malaria vaccine with “world-changing” potential, BBC News reported Wednesday, though getting shots into arms will require a renewed commitment to global health funding that advocates warn is in danger of being slashed.

Adrian Hill, director of the university’s Jenner Institute and co-inventor of the R21 jab, described it as “the best vaccine yet” against malaria.

Malaria is one of the world’s leading causes of morbidity and mortality, affecting more than 240 million people and killing nearly 627,000 in 2020. Roughly 96% of malaria deaths occur in Africa, and the vast majority of victims are children under the age of five.

According to The Guardian, Hill “has previously said he believes R21 could help to reduce deaths from the disease by 70% by 2030 and eradicate it by 2040.”

As BBC News noted:

It has taken more than a century to develop effective vaccines as the malaria parasite, which is spread by mosquitoes, is spectacularly complex and elusive. It is a constantly moving target, shifting forms inside the body, which make it hard to immunize against.

Last year, the World Health Organization [WHO] gave the historic go-ahead for the first vaccine—developed by pharmaceutical giant GSK—to be used in Africa.

However, the Oxford team claims their approach is more effective and can be manufactured on a far greater scale.

Results from a randomized controlled trial involving 409 children aged 5-17 months in Nanoro, Burkina Faso—published Wednesday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases—showed that three initial doses of the R21 vaccine before the malaria season, followed by a booster dose one year later, provides protective efficacy up to 80%.

Gareth Jenkins, director of advocacy at Malaria No More UK, called the results “another encouraging signal that, with the right support, the world could end child deaths from malaria in our lifetimes.”

The Oxford scientists will begin seeking WHO approval for the vaccine within weeks, though a final decision depends on the outcome of a larger, ongoing trial of 4,800 children in Kenya, Mali, and Tanzania. Results are expected before the end of this year.

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is prepared to produce at least 200 million doses of R21 annually.

Given that the vaccine can be made for “a few dollars,” said Hill, “we really could be looking at a very substantial reduction in that horrendous burden of malaria.”

“We hope that this will be deployed and available and saving lives, certainly by the end of next year,” he added.

One of the last remaining barriers to an effective rollout of the jab is possible cuts to global health spending. Hill implored the United Kingdom’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, not to squander the progress made by researchers at Oxford and their counterparts at GSK with a needless curtailment of the public investments underlying scientific innovations.

“It would be tragic if suddenly, as new tools become available, and we can have a real impact—and that’s not hard to see now by getting these [vaccines] out there—if we were to just… turn off the taps on funding,” Hill told The Guardian on Wednesday. “And there is a risk of that.”

As the newspaper reported:

The body that provides more than half of all financing for the world’s malaria programs, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, has warned that unless it receives significantly more money from leading donor countries such as the UK at its pledging conference this month, it will not be able to get the fight against those diseases back on track after the Covid pandemic.

The UK has not yet said what it will pledge in New York, but the fund is thought to have asked for about £1.8 billion [$2.1 billion]. As foreign secretary, Truss outlined a strategy for overseas aid marked by an overall spending reduction and a retreat from the funding of multilateral organizations like the Global Fund.

“It’s incredibly important that the Global Fund is properly refunded. What they do is absolutely amazing,” said Hill. “I hope the new prime minister will be very keen to recognize the importance of doing what the UK [the fund’s third-biggest donor] has done so well in the past.”

Hill, who also co-created the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine that billionaire Bill Gates prevented from becoming a global public good as intended, is no stranger to the fact that medical triumphs alone are insufficient and that political-economic forces play an outsized role in shaping health outcomes.

Humanity has made significant inroads in the battle against malaria, eliminating the disease in many parts of the world over the past century and reducing its incidence in recent decades through technologies such as insecticide-treated bed nets.

However, recent research shows that malaria, dengue fever, and other infectious disease outbreaks are poised to become more common this century as the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency heats up the planet and intensifies flooding, providing a breeding ground for water- and vector-borne diseases.

This makes the expanded production and equitable distribution of resources like the R21 vaccine all the more important going forward.

Jenkins, for his part, said that not cutting the country’s contributions to the Global Fund “will be the new PM’s first foreign policy test.”

“For the sake of millions of children’s lives, global health security, and British relations with its closest ally,” said Jenkins, “it’s a test they cannot fail.”

 

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Hawkins, Three wide angle takes on Panama City’s informal economy

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Fruit Vendor
We really have the barest threads of a social safety net here. When things are rough you don’t apply for a dole, you find something to sell.

Harder than usual times in the capital, through a 7.5 mm wide angle lens

Photos by Allan Hawkins V.
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The COVID epidemic drove a great many Panamanians into the informal economy — we don’t have precise figures at the moment, but it seems that a little less than half of the nation’s economically active adults were working informally before the virus hit, and that figure climbed to more than half. Or so it seems. LATELY, in both the city and the Interior, we see ever more of the premises where informal business as done closed. Probably a lot of that is people who got regular jobs. Some of it may be people who just quit the micro-business life because it doesn’t pay very well. 

 

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There is this eternal tension between government and the informal sector. Local governments and petty politicians want to get their cuts, or to allow only their loyal partisan followers to do business on the streets. However, if they get extreme about that they have all these starving people for whom they offer no solutions. There is also a ban on foreigners engaging in such retail business. If food is being sold, there are health inspectors to monitor proper sanitary conditions, even in the informal sector. Might these folks be moved to a stall where they’d have to pay rent to the city? Looks like their businesses are too small to afford it.

 

 

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GECU, Taller de efectos especiales

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special effects

Taller de efectos especiales ofrece el GECU en su 50 aniversario

por el Grupo Experimental de Cine Universitario (GECU)

El GECU de la Vicerrectoría de Extensión de la Universidad de Panamá, que está cumpliendo este mes 50 años de trabajo continuo por el desarrollo del cine nacional, ofrecerá, a través de su Centro de Formación y Capacitación Cinematográfica, en alianza con la Dirección de Cine (DICINE) del Ministerio de Cultura y la Fundación FAE, el Taller de Dirección de Arte y Efectos Especiales para Cine y Tv, impartido por el especialista Fernando Enrique Gálvez, en fechas que van del 19 al 23 de septiembre, de 8:30 a.m. a 4 p.m

Gálvez, es un diseñador de producción y realizador de efectos especiales guatemalteco, cuya primera carrera fue Diseño Gráfico en la Universidad Rafael Landívar de Guatemala, cursó producción audiovisual en la Universidad de San Carlos, fue egresado de la escuela de Cine Casa Comal y posteriormente se especializó en realización de Efectos Especiales en México y EEUU.

Se inició en el mundo del audiovisual desde 2002. Trabajó en TVUSAC y hasta la fecha ha participado en más de 25 producciones cinematográficas y más de 50 spots publicitarios en Centro América y México, como Diseñador de Producción, Director de Arte y Realizador de Efectos Especiales. Ha sido acreedor el premio Icaro a Mejor Dirección de Arte en tres oportunidades, la última en el 2020 por la famosa película guatemalteca, La Llorona, de Jairo Bustamante. En 2015 participó como parte del equipo de Efectos especiales en la serie de televisión Señor Ávila de HBO en México.

El taller incluirá temas como Conceptos de la Dirección de Arte, Teoría del color y la línea, Lenguaje no verbal/ semiología, Conceptos básicos de vestuario, Desarrollo de propuestas estéticas, Ejes principales de la construcción de sets cinematográficos, Acabados y texturas, Desmontaje e Introducción a los efectos especiales de maquillaje para cine y TV. Está concebido para un máximo de 20 participantes, el precio es de $150.00, con posibilidades de becas parciales con el apoyo de DICINE. Cuenta además con los auspicios de la Rectoría y la Vicerrectoría de Investigación de la UP.

Para reservaciones: formaciongecu@gmail.com o 6667-1379.

DESCRIPCIÓN DEL TALLER

Impartido por: Fernando Enrique Gálvez Moscoso (Guatemala)

Fechas y horarios: Lunes 19 a viernes 23 de septiembre de 2022

De 8:30 a.m. a 4 p.m.

Lugar: Laboratorio LAB FA de la Facultad de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Panamá.

Número de plazas: 20 participantes
Modalidad: presencial
Donativo: $150
Posibilidad de becas parciales gracias al apoyo de DICINE
Información: formaciongecu@gmail.com / 6667-1379

En el internet vea: www.gecupanama.org

 

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