Saturday, June 19, 2010

Drop (Salsa) Beats Not Bombs

Thus far I have been very impressed with all the cultural happenings Oaxaca has to offer. Wednesday night a few of us attended a book talk focusing on the Uruguayan leftist author Raul Zibechi and a Mexican author, Raquel GutiƩrrez Aguilar. We went in hopes of hearing the famed Zibechi speak on leftist politics in Latin America. He was rather unsuccessfully skyped in- a cool idea in theory but perhaps not in practice. The surprise of the night was Ms. Aguilar, who spoke a lot about the feminist struggle within revolutionary social movements. I bought her book, Desandar El Labarinto and am quite excited to read it!
On Thursday the group visited the ruins of Monte Alban (see previous posts on this blog) and the market in Zaachila. The market lacked the regular number of tourists, save for a few people who ate next to us at lunch. It turned out those people were visiting artists from San Francisco showing some of their works for this weekend only. A few of us decided to go and enjoyed some wonderful works by artists like Art Hazelwood, Juan R Fuentes, and Calixto Robles. Among my favorite pieces was "Made in the USA" (shown above) depicted a women working in the field while small bombs rain down around her. I also recognized several of the locals in attendance from the book talk a few days earlier. We are now on a mission to crack the art scene and get in with the locals, one event at a time.
After the show we met the rest of our abroad group at the salsa club Candelera. After a week of studying the people and politics of Oaxaca, it was a real treat to study the beautiful art of salsa dance. Unfortunately the 50 peso entry free was not such a treat (props to Brent for getting it down to 40 a head). Regardless, we all enjoyed dancing the night away and watching the locals do the same...only more gracefully. I look forward to attending more art shows and salsa clubs in the future!

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