This essay explores the significance of the work of Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona using as interpretative strategies the concept of syndesis —from the Greek, meaning a process dictated by the urge to bind together—and syncretism —also from the Greek, meaning combination of various beliefs or practices. Additional connections —such as the idea of ‘wonder’ emerging from literature and particularly the work of Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, ‘re-creation’ considered by Salmona himself as the basis for making architecture, the incorporation of landscape in the architectural work as expressed in both the Western and Japanese (Shakkei) traditions of place-making, and finally a deep passion for the practice of architecture— help the critical weaving of this essay, in itself representative of the concept of syndesis.

In: Transculturation

Left-wing guerrilla groups and right-wing paramilitaries have operated in Colombia throughout recent decades. Some of these groups have signed peace agreements with the Government. However, efforts to achieve a positive peace, involving all the illegal groups, have encountered serious problems when it comes to the question of forgiveness. A significant part of the population is reluctant to forget the crimes of former illegal combatants. This attitude places obstacles in the way of the reintegration of former combatants into civilian society, and complicates the demobilisation of groups that are still fighting. To understand the factors that affect forgiveness among the population, a study was conducted to identify the variables affecting the propensity of civilians to forgive severe offenses committed against them. Interviews were used to identify the overall likelihood of the civilian population to forgive, associated with demographic variables. Factors associated with the offense itself, the social context of the offender, and the injured party that affect the propensity to forgive were also examined. The information that emerged from the sample was used to create a model that helps explain the cognitive process of forgiveness. This has enabled the authors to conceive ways of introducing changes into the educational system that could potentially help people develop more critical views and greater sensitivity concerning issues of forgiveness in society. The research has placed particular emphasis on understanding of issues of forgiveness among young people, given that processes of reconciliation and forgiveness are going to be critical for society at large if it is to be possible to construct a positive model of peace in the country over the next two or three decades.

In: Forgiveness: Philosophy, Psychology and the Arts

Adventitious rooting of cuttings is a complex developmental process in forest species, with several exogenous and endogenous factors influencing the outcome of the process. In this study we applied an in vitro working system, comprising two lines of microshoots with the same genotype but at a different ontogenetic stages, in two different tree species (chestnut and oak). We analyzed the expression of a gene encoding an AP2/ERF transcription factor from group VII in the initial hours of the adventitious rooting induction, both in rooting competent and incompetent microshoots. The analysis revealed that expression of this gene is related to wounding, ontogenetic stage and auxin in a complex and species-specific manner. Putative induction of the gene by auxin was also analyzed in the presence of naphthyl-phthalamic acid (NPA), an auxin transport inhibitor. In situ expression analysis in chestnut relates the gene activity to cambial divisions and root primordia in rooting competent microshoots, as well as in the root apex. The putative role of the gene during adventitious roots formation is discussed.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The present study investigated how auxin concentration and the method of application affected the formation of adventitious roots in microshoots of chestnut (Castanea sativa) and oak (Quercus robur). The activity of two urea derivatives (2, 3-MDPU and 3, 4-MDPU) was also evaluated. Microshoots were derived from basal sprouts of two mature chestnut trees (P1 and P2) and one adult oak genotype (Sainza). In chestnut, rooting percentage was positively affected by auxin in a dose-dependent manner, particularly in shoots treated with the hormone for 24 h. The effect of auxin on rooting also differed depending on the application method. In shoots treated for 24 h, the highest concentration of auxin produced the healthiest rooted plantlets, in terms of the root system and shoot quality. By contrast, in shoots treated by the basal quick-dip method, the shoot quality was best at the lowest auxin concentration. The effect of urea derivatives on the root system depended on the species as well as on the auxin concentration and application period. Use of the MDPUs improved the root system architecture of auxin-treated shoots by promoting lateral root development and triggering the synchronous initiation of root primordia at the base of the shoot. Shoot quality was also improved by MDPUs, which promoted resumption of growth and reduced shoot-tip necrosis.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences