What is my relation with the place where I live? Maybe the fact that I was born in Venezuela, where my parents were emigrants, and a few years later, when I was 5, I came to Spain, which made me feel like a kind of stranger. I didn’t adopt the Spanish nationality until I was 35 years old, so during all my childhood and adolescence I saw myself as N outsider, different from other kids and my friends.
My nationality was a recurrent issue during those early years, because I had to visit continuously the Venezuela embassy to renew my passport and the Spanish Police station to keep my papers in order. In any case, that doesn’t mean that I longed for Venezuela, in fact I don’t have any memory from there, but my nationality put me in a put me in a singular position. Beside, during my life I lived in more than 12 different houses, which didn’t allow me to establish any kind of relation with the neighborhood and its inhabitants.
In spite of this wandering background, I don’t feel the anxiety to travel, discover new landscapes or meeting new people. No even in my dreams I do feel such urgency… I don’t think I’m going to find something somewhere that fulfill my aspirations and desires. Besides, I’m convinced that traveling is bad for local cultures and economies, converting the local traditions into spectacles for the enjoy of the tourists, and causing a great suffering to the environment with all these planes, boats and cars moving around in an endless movement. I’m not an activist but a witness, like you, of the destruction of our world. The Spanish writer Unanumo (1864-1936) said referring to the general situation of Spain during the crisis of identity in 1898: “Me duele España” (Spain hurts me); I could say “The Earth hurts me”, that’s what I feel seeing how disconnect we are from the places where we live, continuously causing suffering and damage the environment, and not willing to change our attitudes for the benefit of ourselves.
Being an outsider have the positive benefit to give me certain perspective, but the counterpart of seeing thing from aside is that my bounds with the local community are weak. This course will be a challenge for me, and I hope it would provide me the opportunity to establish a deeper relation where the place where I live, and therefore it would help me to define more precisely my own identity.