Entrevista a Omar
1- how was growing up in Canada coming from a South American country?
Central American actually my friend. It was okay growing up. I remember some of my most earliest memories were of myself & my family, conversing back & forth, me telling them that, “I’m Canadian.” & they replying back, “No. Omar, you know you’re Spanish right?” --- These talks happened a few times during my earliest youth, only to have myself smile back at them, knowing I was Canadian first, Spanish second, only now, these positions as I’ve grown older, have changed.
2- How do you define your cultural bounds to south America along all this time in Canada? and why?
Growing up, I loved Canadian, North American Culture. My Step-Dad would take me to the movies, I watch a lot of television & played & watched a lot of video games growing up. Playing with car toys, enjoying sports on tv. My life revolved around the Television. This is how I connected with being Canadian, by watching them, on Television, on the streets, & I sort of saw myself as them, never truly tapping into my hint of a “Spanish Consciousness” as they describe the Spanish Friar Bartolome de las Casas, who wrote of the Spanish atrocities committed on the Indians of the New World.
3- when does your love for movies and writing began? and how did you react to it, what did you do?
All my movie passion comes from my Step-Father. He being a truly observant Spanish Latino Man. Having heard his off-hand stories of war himself, his search of Religion, his breakdown of Philosophies, I always listened to this man all my life. Growing up, I always had a flair for film. I remember myself playing on my mothers bed-set, pretending to fight in Wars, illustrating the landscape from my Mind to Eye-visuals. I would love to day-dream in school about different movies & when it was time to write a short story for school, albeit Elementary, Junior, High School I drew inspiration from the Films I saw at home, & put them onto page, as visually aware of the Picture Show in my head as best I could. --- It was not until 19 when I re-tapped that point again, & in 2010 started the new decade, committing myself to study & writing.
4- For the curious how it living in Winninpeg at the cultural and social level? and what do you like the most about it ?
I liked growing up seeing the Native Culture. I personally grew up in a poverty Government funded, with social assistance for my Family. So I hung out in the Jungle with the neighbour kids who were black, native, poor, but always a spirit of Fun & essentially Canadian. Viewing the landscape now as I grow older, I remember feeling the visual of a dark & cold spot for Winnipeg. These points I draw upon when I write, because I know shadowy & dark existences exist not only here but all around the world…. So in this I do not feel alone, but in the same sense I do feel alone, as I live in a crossroad to nowhere.
The Culture of Art now has been slowly on the rise, as Youth & others alike usher in a movement of Art during the Spring & Summer days which seems to be growing more popular.
5- what are your big influences in your writing and why are they so important to you?
I like Non-Fiction, & these tend to be my main sculptures when I write. I never was a fan of someone else’s fiction because they never painted the world for me visually… That’s what Movies do that for me though. It bridges that gap of having the Grande Screen fit for the Page.
History, reading of other philosophers, geographers, biographers, people who write on other people is my main source of inspiration, the other being, the craft of observing Real-life, its small quirky details & fitting it to Page.
6- how's the Canadian movie industry and how would you define it and its importance on the world view?
Growing up, to be honest, I never like much of Canadian works. I always preferred American films. The Hollywood Blockbusters. From Jurassic Park, to older classics like Ben-Hur. There Grandiose Nature always spoke to me. I do have a Love for Canadian actors though, especially the comedic talent like Norm MacDonald, Jim Carrey, Michael J Fox, & Leslie Nelsen. I always found Canadians make some of the best actors & comedic talent out there in the film industry.
7- Explain to me why do you like so much Plato and what do you think its his importance on the western world till the present?
I enjoy Plato, a lot as You’ve noticed in our talks, haha. I enjoy his poetic versatility, of bringing the questions of Life, to Page, through his character & mentor, the Seeker Socrates. Plato is a mind constantly thinking intellectual, theoretical but he can put that to story in terms that are Real to grasp. Unlike Aristotle who I personally believe goes to “wordy”, to definite on terms & definitions to confuse a reader. Plato is simple. Plato is simply yet paints his whole picture coming full circle by the time you are finished with a dialogue. You get the wisdom here & there, you take it, adjust to your life, like the wisdom the Old or New Testament would give, & you leave.
8- For you Omar, whats the purpose of culture and art? and whats the best way of achieving those purposes?
For me personally, the purpose of culture & art is to leave legacy. An imprintation of the Mind of Man, to say, “This is how a person thought,… Can you make it better?” --- The best way is to Study, be yourself, & do… in other words Take Action, & hopefully your grace will shine through.
9- In what way being a Buddhist influence your art and its content? why?
Everything I may say. When I became a practicing Buddhist at 19, I never engaged heavily in writing nor my passion for film-making. I dabbled in High School, in my own spare time, but to actually seek it, I needed Buddhism to speak the Philosophy of Life to me, so I can hold onto something True, before the delusion of the Movie Industry took me down an unrealistic turn. As soon as I related the concepts of Buddhism, being a religion/philosophy based on “PEOPLE”, I became enlightened from that to take that to film-study. I asked, “The camera moving, a person is doing that.” It was all PEOPLE running the operation, & its teachings of the 10 worlds, for example taught me of Human Nature, & scripts, stories, characters, everything important in character study, was based around that.
10- Why do you think so much of American culture influences so much the Canadian one?
Simple word::: Geography.
Another word::: Karma. Because we have the ideal of “Borders”. In reality, they do not exist. Only we, as people have slapped on a line to say, “This is Canada, This is America.” They are both the same. The same derivative from there United Kingdom brethren. The influence of one man, American, leads to Influence Canadians still very early identification.
11- How can an artist have impact, socially, culturally, in society Omar? when so much of it is consumed by fast brainless entertainment?
I think the Artist has to become the example of not becoming the brainless. To indulge in brainless activity is Entertainment. To realize you are being Entertained, is the key for the artist, or person to understand. Entertainment by Film, It is to an extent, a joke or hyperbole on the Human Nature, but the beauty is it can become Truthful. To speak truthfully of someone’s life, through Film either about a local grocer man or big celebrity is an impact Art can have of relaying information that moving pictures can speak of, if you find reading to be ‘brainless’ activity.
12-in what way you think south American culture differs from Canadian one? give me some examples.
Latin American people are different. As I remember we talked, Latin people tend to be more Introspective, examining the Mind, your actions & why, speaking about Life. Canadian people tend to forget this tool of Human observing & your true nature. They get lost in the ‘physical aspect‘ of life, concerned with material. They have lost that value of spirituality. They see there Americans to the south & want to be like them, “Bigger the Better”. The difference is that I think, is from the people standpoint. Culturally wise, Latin culture is more rich, but all culture is nice. To be Human, is Better. To be Universal in thinking, is a key to happiness in life, especially now, & if you can make art out of that, even better.
13- how do you define as a masterpiece, and its social cultural importance? Why?
A Masterpiece, to me, in Art, is to come full circle. To see the Rise, but because the Rise to the top was brutal, you must see the fall, because in real-life, this is a daily battle day in, & day out. Movies have taught me for 19 years my life lessons, until I turned to books of other men to see there correlation. A masterpiece of mixed emotions, History as a backdrop, Characters of concern, passion & dilemma & a conflict worth fighting for is a masterpiece, whether a bad movie or good one. You can learn a lot about a terrible film, for even the way the camera moves is another masterpiece.
To examine a masterpiece, whether painting or film, to me, advanced the Imagination further & in turn advances mans spirit ahead as well, making him feel proud to be on Earth, before he has to leave it. & hopefully in those movements of viewing a masterpiece, his life, was, complete, even for a split second. To be content with life & its heinous actions, is another masterpiece to live by, in Buddhism, this is, Nirvana.
14- To finish, what projects you have for the future and in what way that defines your world view?
I hope to be writing with you amigo!! Haha, I know of a female here in Winnipeg who is interest in out Short-Story Collaboration. She has Spanish relatives as is very observant & young. --- I hope in the next year to film some written short films I’ve completed in writing. Hopefully I will bring them to Vancouver once I am finished. I continue to write, from music, philosophy, movies & hope to share that to human society within this Decade.