Wednesday September 26, 3:00-8:30pm
Times Square (at 7:30pm)
Semillas collective FB Event
4 years ago, 43 students from a teachers college in the indigenous town of Ayotzinapa, were disappeared by Mexican police and then military. They raised their voices and their bodies to speak against injustice. Their voices got silenced since.
This crime of state has gone unpunished and unrecognized as such. Mexico's incumbent president, Enrique Peña Nieto is visiting the UN until this Wednesday. Will he get challenged for leading one of the most bloodiest presidencies of our times?
Dance To The People is joining Semillas collective's march, along with musician Ernesto Villalobos, Antonio Tizapa (father of one of the missing students) and other runners of Running for Ayotzinapa 43, members of the Marble Hill Artist Commune, members of Asociación de Mujeres Poblanas and members of the Shul Band, among other musicians and artists.
We're asking for dancers to bring their bodies into the space and use them as a form of memory and resistance (resistance to forgetting perhaps).
Antonio Tizapa shared with us last June, that he was looking around in the streets at people celebrating their graduation. His son and his son's classmates would have been graduating around this time as well.
We decided to wear graduation caps and/or gowns (if we can get them). Please email us if you're coming to the march, and if you have a graduation cap, so we can know how many people are coming and how many we need to bring.
As an alternative, just bring a red top and black pants as a sign of discontent and opposition.
We want to look united to attract the most attention as possible to this issue. But, if you know how to call attention, use your imagination.
But it's bodies in the space what matters the most. Email us and we'll send you the simple movement score we will be using.
We will be also collaborating with the musicians in the space, so we can create the magic there.
In love and solidarity
Dance to the People
after the fact
Funny how this can happen in the middle of a culture that’s all about consuming. The same culture that needs so much, that strangles other forms of life. In the middle of that madness we brought the energy of the dancing warriors. Thanks for everybody there for manifesting the memory of injustice, for embodying resistance.
In the past three years I’ve been trying to…
break into, or more like
not play by the rules of a game that’s clearly not designed for ANYTHING useless (art) to survive
but to create my own rules, to survive, to be happy, to share happy with others, to find them first and then play. Because play will set our spirits free.
Today, I shift between that state where after a lot of listening, I become numb. I was forcing myself to care, and then I’m fearful of saying: I don’t care.
But I do, (this is the other, more hopeful state), I just can’t honestly care for everything
The act of listening to anything is to not listen to everything. Practice to discern, to tune in, to focus, to be a be fucking useful member of humanity, and fight the forces that overwhelm us and make us loose sight of the root of suffering.
I’m afraid of becoming sceptic of change. I roll my eyes at efforts of communicating ideas that hit walls. EVERYBODY HAS MADE UP THEIR MINDS. As a society, we are capable of very little, definitely not of achieving perspective. As individuals, maybe.
The truth does not set us free, we know the truth. There’s no conspiracy. All the mechanisms of corruption and greed exist at plain sight. It’s just fucking uncomfortable to try to do anything about it.
But the truth within ourselves. The truth of our actions. We have agency over the lies we tell ourselves everyday to comply, to merge, to feel accepted. Very seldom (and I believe mostly through art) we are invited to step out of the lie, to see that a life is possible without blending completely. That we can still have meaningful relationships, that we can still make a living.
That WE CAN stop lying to ourselves and others about how wonderful we are, even if instagram really wants us to believe it.
Technology has its own agency, and IT wants something. IT wants to keep us using it, developing it, "making our lives easier". Technology only moves forward, it never takes a rest to smell the flowers. It doesn’t fucking ever take a break. It lives out of our lies and out of our being forgetful of the past. And it sucks money and resources.
We are going to tell some stories that we are afraid will get forgotten: Journalists and students are being killed for exposing corruption. The government is controlled by businesses, drug cartels are just one of them, war is the main one. There’s no democracy. There has never been. Indigenous peoples continue to be dispossessed and trampled over. They’re putting the pasamontañas again, and they’re willing to die. Racism is still a reason for people to kill, imprison, and just plainly take rights away from others.
The wall has already been built.
Life feels like we see, but we can't make out anything. We hear but we can’t listen to one thing.
We are trying
We are blind leading the blind
But, at the risk of sounding super cheesy, I’m going to quote Saint-Exupéry and say: “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye”.
#alloftheabove is a dance piece about the artist’s role in times of conflict, born out of personal moments of doubt and frustration. The making of the piece posed questions of empathy, responsibility, and privilege. It also wants to defend the artists’ freedom to not be defined by their affiliation with any particular cause, while acknowledging the existence of suffering. The process is presented here as collection of written and visual sources and conversations with colleagues. I will reference Facebook (FB) often, pointing out that, although social media is now normalized as the core of our shared experience as a society, two years ago, when I started collecting these ideas, it hadn’t occurred to me that it would become so much so. I became interested in the habits of exchange of information of a certain group of people as a reflection of such group’s expression of empathy.
In August 2015, there was a post shared by Juanfran Maldonado, a friend from my hometown (Guanajuato, Mexico) with whom I haven't spoken in person in more than ten years. The post was shared from the ImpulzTanz Vienna Festival’s page, it was a picture of a printed letter, signed by “Members of the Mexican dance community”, which contained the following:
To the international arts community:
We are deeply shocked, hurt and angry about the torture and murder of Yesenia, Alejandra, Mile, Nadia and Rubén, in an apartment in the central area of Mexico City, this last July 31, 2015. This is not an isolated case, and it illustrates the escalation of violence across the country. The mathematics of terror under which we live add more victims everyday to the already thousands; people are murdered (close to 160,000 since 2007), disappeared (between 26,000 and 40,000), raped and abused in all kinds of horrifying ways without consequence. There is a pact of impunity signed by those who hold our government hostage of their interests. Neoliberalism has come to its purest form of cruelty in a situation like this. Bodies only matter as assets. The outrage we feel is very strong, and the strategies to face the facts are yet unknown.
One of the victims, Nadia Dominique Vera Pérez was well known to many of us, she was our colleague because of her work as a producer and cultural promoter. She produced the Cuatro X Cuatro International Dance Festival in the city of Xalapa, Veracruz, crucial for the promotion and development of Mexican dance.
. . . As an anthropologist, Nadia strongly believed in the arts potential for social transformation, and acted accordingly, Nadia practiced as well a strenuous political activity on behalf of human rights and freedom of expression, against the injustices of an oppressing government, and in solidarity with the victims, the dead and the disappeared of our country. More than once, Nadia expressed her fear: she felt watched, marked. More than once she was threatened because of her political activism inside the state of Veracruz.
We find it very important to spread knowledge of her work and life, to talk about her, to highlight her identity, farther than just her picture of the idea of her broken body.
. . . We need your help and collaboration. We need the entire world to talk about this, because it just cannot keep going on. We live in a Mexico in which more than 90% of crimes are left unpunished, in which state violence is exercised more cynically every time, in which the notion of justice itself seems to be inaccessible. Our country is falling apart, violence gets worse, and we are subject to a greater danger everyday. Nadia was a fundamental element for art in Mexico, for dance and as members of an international community that intends to be reflexive, sensitive and critical, we believe that we are in this together. No matter if we met her or not, if we had similar aesthetic interests or not, if we are Mexican or not, a member of our community has been tortured and murdered in a failed state. Nadia’s death concerns the art community all over the world. It concerns us all. International pressure is one of the few effective protection mechanisms. We ask you to speak out with us, and since many of you perform, speak, write, screen, show . . . We ask you to take a moment during your presentations to talk about the five. We think that it is important to talk about this in spaces open to direct effective exchange.