My time in Oaxaca was a non-stop, blessed art adventure.
I got to stay in La Curtiduria..a gallery and art space that also has some residencies for artists.
- La Curtiduria…where I stayed and where our workshops were for 2 weeks
Everyday for about from 1 to 8 or 9pm we had our performance art workshops with the international pochos locos….LA POCHA NOSTRA (http://www.pochanostra.com/). We had 3 maestr@s from La Pocha who shared their time, energy, experience and advice on working within this genre. Guillermo Gomez Pena, Roberto Sifuentes and Michelle Ceballos. We had 24 other workshop participants from all over the world, but mainly the americas, U.S and Mexico. People came from Greece, Costa Rica, England, Australia, various parts of Mexico including, D.F., Morelos, Chihuahua, and of course, various artists from Oaxaca.
The mix of artists was amazing not only in origin, but also in genre, as people were singers, visual artists, dancers, sound artists, rappers, poets, theater people/actors, etc. A good mix indeed!
Most of our days were filled with theater exercises and prop plays.
All began to break self imposed and society imposed borders of what performance, art, and community is/was. It was an intense but valuable experience and I am thankful for the opportunity.
I was lucky enough to connect with another companera from the Bay area who is an artist and singer, Natalia F.A.V.I. Garcia P. She lead me on what became my night and 2nd shift taller or workshop in art….specifically street art.
A few nights we were able to create work with some amazing compas from Oaxaca City. They’re work and presence is important…cuz as Mare, a Oaxaquena rapera sings, “las calles estan gritando, estan diciendo cosas (the streets are screaming, they are saying things.”
Mare, of Advertencia Lirika is a mujer rapera who I was set to meet since before I got to Oaxaca.
Once in Oaxaca…everyone was like “you gotta meet Mare” and it was only a matter of time before we finally connected. Mare was dope, her presence, lyrics and energy. She rocked a dope set and then opened it up for us to get on the mic. I got on and shared some energy and gave thanks to her for her presencia and trabajo.
Here’s a short video from that night….
I also got to share my spoken word and hip hop in a few spaces in Oaxaca City — At La Perrera, a cool experimental performance lab, and at La Jicara, a independent/community bookstore, restaurant and center.
After these performances the banda de performers and maestros suggested I share some of my work during our final performance. I was able to, with the experimental music of Guillermo Galindo and Zachary Watkins at our final performance at the bodega del Museo de Ferrocarril.
I really wanted to head out of Oaxaca City for a day or so to check out the templos or pueblos…but it didn’t happen as i hoped. I did however take the chance to head out with F.A.V.I to where she stayed for 3 months in Nochistlan, Oaxaca, Mexico…about an hour from the city. She was finishing up a mural regarding maiz. Here’s a short video of her painting and a quick song I did to honor her work.
As you can see, I was really inspired by her work, energy and love for what she does…as well as all that was going on around me and the amazing work that was being created EVERYWHERE I went.
I was lucky enough to connect with some of the dope artists and organizers in Oaxaca.
Below are some photos…
Overall it was a busy but blessed time. I created, pushed my self artistically, met amazing people and made great connections and friends. I look forward to returning…hopefully next summer and maybe with a delegation of artists/activists. I’m happy about the work that was done there, through music, performance, visual art and excited to continue and keep creating.
Here’s some photos of the performance persona I did with La Pocha Nostra: La Huichola.
It was a transformation piece…in that I began as a huichol women in the calles asking for money, outside on the street, then moved inside the museum to play a traditional tourist-approved huichol women, welcoming audience to the real “Mexican experience,” then transforming myself through make-up, a change of clothes and key items/props to a Huichola….heading over to the larger warehouse performance space with my sonaja sounding aerosol can shake, hittin up political messages along the way and finally sharing huichola hip hop at the event.
I am excited to build with the gente from there and especially some of these dope spots including CASOTA.
I am hella thankful to all who supported me in my journey to the motherland. I learned and created and am very grateful. Special thanks to my partner, Joel –and my mom, Olivia Montes, –and all who supported by buying Fe wear.
Blessings y paz,