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Eduardo Centelles

1. My grandfather Eduardo Centelles with a friend at the door of El Pilar Basilica (Zaragoza). 2. Wedding portrait. 3. Portrait for the Spanish military service.

My grandfather Eduardo never visited Las Vegas. He was born in a family of farmers in Alcañiz, a small town located in the north-east of Spain. He came out to this world without medical assistance, in his parents bed. He never had toys. He had the silent countryside and the open sky. His favorite game was capturing scorpions with glass jars and try to make them angry with a stick.

He had to quit school when he was 12 to help his dad with the sheep, but he would always remember every river, capital and historical fact he memorized when he was a kid. He spent his life repairing trucks. Breathing those fumes for decades caused him lung cancer.

There were two things that made him vastly happy: his family and the countryside. He would grow every kind of fruit and vegetable typical from Bajo Aragón -a region of Spain known for its fine olive oil and peaches- and he would split the harvest between the members of the family. When I was little, he cultivated licorice for me.

He had many dreams the low-middle Spanish class born in the post-war era could not fulfill. “One day, when I win the lotto, ‘Martica’, -he used to repeat me,- we’ll leave your grandma here (she refuses to travel) and we will go to Las Vegas. Will you come? Just you and me”. He was fascinated about how they found water in the middle of the dessert and built a city out of nothing. He also wanted to visit the Grand Canyon. I think he would have felt like one of those cowboys he used to admire in the western movies.

I don’t know how serious he was about this idea of going to Las Vegas, but I was deeply committed with it and used to remind him he had made a promise. It would be the best adventure ever. He would win the lotto and we would go. Soon. Why not? He deserved that.

But my grandfather Eduardo never went to Las Vegas. He travelled the world through our national television documentaries. He never knew how it feels to take a plane. He didn’t visit any different country from Spain except from France, when he was in the military service.

I don’t believe in the sky but I do believe in Las Vegas. I will go there one day and I will find my grandfather. He will be standing outside The Bellagio, with his hands inside his pockets and his infinite smile, waiting for me to get inside.

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Rastafari movement exists between Toronto skyscrapers. Judah Wallo is one of the "One Love" culture forerunners in the financial capital of Canada. He originated Rasta Fest, the most popular reggae music festival that takes place in Toronto, and promotes artists from Jamaica, USA and Canada all over the world. He also teaches English at Ryerson University and is the president of the board of Regent Park Focus Youth Media Art Centre.

The herb corporal oils he uses smell various steps away and his locks fall under his bottom when he takes off his hat (he claims the term 'dreadlock' is a derogatory word the British created to fight the Rastafari culture). Nearly all the jewelry he wears relates to the ancient Ethiopian.

He was born in Jamaica 47 years ago, where his beliefs were formed. He went to one of the top schools in Kingston, where he was best friends with Ziggy Marley. "His dad was traveling most of the time. But I had the chance to see him a couple of times because he would come to see Ziggy playing football", he remembers. They were best friends at preparatory school, but he doesn't want to tell any private stories. "If you don't believe me, look at this", he says while he shows a picture with Ziggy Marley when after the show he played in Toronto two weeks ago.

Judah went to University in Hunstville, Alabama, where he took Computer Science studies and did his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning studies. He had his own reggae, afrobit and calypso radio show for 13 years in this city. "Everyone was infused about it. Alabama has the highest concentration of retired engineers in the world. That means its population is highly educated and multicultural and they were able to appreciate the music", he explains.

He moved from the States to Canada after the 11S. "The atmosphere was very harassing. You couldn't move around freely. Anything that looked different was questioned", he remembers.

Since he moved to Toronto, he has been promoting reggae, afrobit and calypso music artists focusing in the ones based in Toronto. "A lot of Jamaicans have emigrated to Canada since the 50s, so there is a strong history of reggae here", he explains.

Although Canada is said to be a very multicultural country, he contradicts this general idea: "I've experienced more racism here than in USA. There are many people from all over the world, but they're not integrated".

His favourite song to walk between impersonal Toronto skyscrapers is 'Jah is my driver', by Burning Spear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4qVdVIuFOw  

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