About Guelaguetza

By Arte en Resistencia

Dear Tourist: Oaxaca is not celebrating…It is mourning. This is a performance and installation which brings together different disciplines, (musicians, dancers, plastic artists and performers) committed to the social and political moment in Oaxaca.

We are not celebrating nor are we, while justice is not given in our state, nor punishment tot he assassins of our companions fallen this past year, freeing of the prisoners who are still in federal and state jails, orders for arrest and a halt to the atmosphere of police and military hostilities on the part of the Governor Ulises Ruiz.

Also it is important to recover what is ours, as is the case with the Guelaguetza, a traditional festival of the people of Oaxaca, presently converted into a private event by the state and losing its original meaning, since the government has sought to emphasize only tourist and commercial needs, at the expense of our people and tradition.

Another major error is that being a celebration of our diversity, the Guelaguetza is now monopolized and centralized, making the beneficiaries the same year after year, that is to say, the politicians and the merchants, since the Oaxaqueños each year are more alienated and they only receive crumbs. It is directed more than anything else to the visitor, which matters only as the economic levy it represents.

It is time to take back what is ours, the most important Oaxaqueña festival of the year, which supposedly gives us identity, unity and a reason to come together culturally, socially and economically. The Guelaguetza can not be reduced to a colorful and attractive tourist business since it already has for the Oaxaqueños a feeling, a profound sentiment which should be guarded, in addition to increasing the accords of  our present society, to the end of changing it into the most important social cohesion of our pluri-cultural society.

The Guelaguetza should be the common forum for a true interchange, approach, involvement and contact among the peoples, a point of encounter and access  to the different customs and values of each place, a cultural, economic, political and social window, to embrace a broad aspect not only of its fiestas and customs but also to take advantage of this forum to discuss matters of common interest, as it can further the use of social currency through our old legacy, the barter, which opens new possibilities for producers, artisans and campesinos; among many other activities which it could implement. That way  citizen participation will be important through discussion forums.

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