IDIOM MALTA FESTIVAL POZNAŃ 2014
LATIN AMERICA: MESTIZOS
LATIN AMERICA. CONTINENT OF EXTREMES
29 countries, over 21 million km2 and 549 million inhabitants. Icons, clichés, stereotypes: Che Guevara, Lake Titicaca, football, the vastness of the Amazon rainforest, growing economic powers, carnival, salsa, tango, a melting pot of colours and coexisting traditions. But also: military juntas, drug trafficking, violence, migration. It is the fastest developing area of the world. However, rapid economic growth goes hand in hand with poverty, exclusion and an uncertain future.
In the majority of Latin American countries the suburbs are mainly multi-ethnic and “colourful”, while the elite remains white. As many as 41 out of 50 of the most dangerous cities in the world are found there. Even though Brazil outdistanced the UK in terms of the pace of economic growth, it is second out of the twenty biggest countries in the world (G20) when it comes to social inequalities. Extreme poverty is shrinking, but differences in earnings are increasing.
So what is Latin America like? It is a continent of contrasts: from radical leftist movements in 1970s to rightist dictatorships in 1980s, from extreme poverty to economic power, from carnival to the mundane reality in favelas without electricity, water or means of support.
As part of Idiom we wish to explore these extremes, show the less obvious, more diverse faces of Latin America, both the cheerful, colourful and vigorous, along with the hidden and denied. Surprisingly poorly represented in Polish cultural life and public discourse, Latin America is currently a lively and significant centre of the modern world, which in the geopolitical balance of power existing to date has favoured the Euro-Atlantic area. Today the eyes of the whole world are turned to Latin America.
CLOSE – BUT FAR AWAY
Latin America allows us to examine ourselves here in Poland too. Its history is a mirror image of the history of Central and Eastern Europe after World War II. Here – leftist totalitarianism, over there – rightist regimes; here people believed that the USA was a remedy to all evil, over there – that Russia would be. Trapped in history, with relativism towards victims and tortures, no critical review... First there came radical leftist movements, followed by rightist dictatorships, then slowly emerging out of them in a peaceful manner and entering an uncontrollable free market. Latin America moved from one Utopian dream to another. As a result, countries lying over 10,000 kilometres away may turn out to be unusually close to us.
Great artistic potential, is to be found on the ruins of these abandoned social ideas of emancipation, in the cultural melting pot and the clash of extremes. The programme of this year’s festival will include artists of different generations, who grew up surrounded by social, historical, cultural and geographical paradoxes, uncompromising creators with clearly defined political beliefs, employing distinctive aesthetics. Directors, choreographers, musicians, visual artists from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico or Peru. For a week Poznań will be filled with art characterised by an unusual rhythm, physicality and radical vision.
Malta Festival Poznań 2014 will be the site for a meeting with the culture and history of Latin America, but as seen by contemporary artists who experiment with language and the aesthetics of the region, combine South- American and European experiences and dare to speak about difficult subjects.
The Mestizo in the title is a half-breed, a person who has both Native American and European blood flowing in his or her veins. This figure, a symbolic manifestation of the Idiom, says a lot about Latin America’s inhabitants, but also about all of us – citizens of the world, in which the boundaries of communication, cultures and identity are subject to fluidity, mixing and exchange. “All of us are half-breeds” – this is an attitude of affirmation, but also a thorough and a thorough insight into the past, into the difficult and often bloody history of European and Latin American relations.
DOROTA SEMENOWICZ, KATARZYNA TÓRZ