Revolutionary Love

03

Vultures

Round and round
They fly above us
Within us

A sun that fades to white that never shines
Three children
Cross the highway
To play because they have no classes

Caracas parece una constante introspección de burbujas sin jabón

There appears to be no good
There appears to be no bad
Just food
Just death

¡Sálvese quien pueda!
They told them

Rich and poor linger absent
And those present do not want to be

Death is life?
She ponders

Hobbes arrived,
Or did he never leave?
The husband asks

The red Jeep jolts their thoughts
Don’t think, don’t reflect, don’t talk!

Who are we to judge?
Who are they to survive?

Just drink to continue. And
Abide to forget

  1. Eva Van Roekel is an assistant professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, specialising in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Her research centres on human rights, violence, and natural resources in Latin America. She takes on a multidisciplinary approach, integrating philosophy and arts into her work. This reflects a versatile range of creative writing, film and visual ethnography.

  2. The presence of family during fieldwork is often an under-ignored theme in anthropology. My experiences of doing ethnographic fieldwork in Argentina and Venezuela on violence and crisis are no exception. Only recently have I explicitly included the role of my partner Matías Cordiviola, who is a political scientist and skilled analyst, in my theorizing on suffering and psychoanalysis in Argentina (van Roekel 2023). In this poem, we take it a step further. Upon arrival after fieldwork with our children who attended a privileged private school in Caracas, we were both unsettled by the experiences of the complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. We decided to put our shared quandaries into words by writing poetry. We fused parts of it into the poem titled ‘Vultures’. The number of vultures (zamuros) in Caracas has heavily increased because of their changing habitat due to the crisis in recent years and simultaneously interweaves local ambiguities surrounding the survival and resourcefulness of a species and unethical opportunism during a crisis.

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