Showing posts with label Argentina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Argentina. Show all posts

June 4, 2019

In Argentina “Cholita” Using Folklore in Singing, Dancing and Challenges Gender and Stereotypes





Screen capture from “Ramita Seca,” produced by Elisa Portela via YouTube, featuring choreography and interpretation of “Bartolina Xixa” a drag persona inspired by Andean indigenous aesthetics.
In the middle of a large garbage dump, surrounded by fog, a figure in a wide pastel pink skirt and long braids dances a vidala, a form of traditional poetry accompanied by music typical of Argentinian folklore.

                         
A small portrait of Romina Navarro
Written byRomina Navarro
Translated byDaniela Cristain



It's Bartolina Xixa, the Andean “drag folk” character created by Maximiliano Mamaní, who reassesses Argentinian northern folklore from a gender perspective and aims to decolonize it with a focus on indigenous peoples.
In their most recent work, “Dry Little Branch, the Permanent Coloniality,” the artist chose the open-air dump setting of Hornillos, located in the Quebrada of Humahuaca, a region declared as a cultural and natural heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2003.
The vidala has plenty of symbolism. Composed by singer-songwriter Aldana Bello, the lyrics explore the topic of mining exploitation and atrocities perpetrated against Indigenous communities: 
 This vidala I'm singing / Is bleeding with grief and pain / The injustices of centuries / Still stand fierce […] In the Andean zone there are mining [companies] / They pollute dreams / Water, land, everything / [everything] that surrounds them.
Mamaní was born in Jujuy, located in far northwest Argentina, and grew up in the neighboring region of Salta. They study Anthropology at the National University of Salta and work as a professor of folk dance.
With Bartolina Xixa, Mamaní challenges stereotypes found in folk art, in which gender roles perpetuate binary structures that leave out a range of identities. As Mamaní points out in an interview with the Argentine site VOS:
I perform Argentine, Peruvian and Bolivian folk dances. I like folk music, which is why I had the need to reflect on it and on my position as a gay man in it, as I was being denied the opportunity to express myself when it came to build a choreography and make a partner dance…
And they add:
I realized that the same thing was happening to many others, because folklore has been designed from a heterosexual point of view. Certain attributes are given to the male figure, to the gauchos [for example], such as strength, firmness, and courtship. He is the one who leads. Women, meanwhile, are submissive, complacent.

A tribute to an Aymara heroine

Mamaní's social questionings are not limited to the world of folklore — they also address the tendencies that dominate global aesthetics with which “drag” is approached, an aesthetic that the artist says is linked to stereotypes of Western cultures’ notions of the feminine.
Their drag character is a departure from that tendency: Inspired by Bartolina Sisa Vargas, an Aymara leader who rebelled against the Spanish empire and subsequently captured, tortured and murdered in La Paz, Bolivia, in 1782, Mamaní pays tribute to this Andean woman, the “cholita” — “a hardworking woman, head of her household, who goes out to work every day, and who has ties to her family, her community, her ancestors, her traditions.”

Bartolina Xixa during a presentation in Buenos Aires, June 2018. Photo by Elisa Portela, used with permission.
In an episode of the podcast “Relatos Disidentes” or “Dissident Chronicles,” from the Salta-based portal, VóVè, Mamaní describes his character:
I usually say that I lend my body to Bartolina Xixa. [A character that] was born from the urgency of being able to think of other ways of doing folklore, another way of understanding identities that cross my own experience and that cross a whole group's experience.

Challenging the construction of Argentine masculinity and the “LGBT-norm”

Mamaní's activism and militancy appeal to social networks — especially Facebookand Instagram — through which to convey provocative messages. The best example is a Facebook post that became known as the “gay kiss,” which went viral on the platform in November 2018.
They shared the post during the pre-game soccer match between Boca Juniors and River Plate soccer clubs, featuring images of Mamaní kissing another man in front of the convent, San Bernardo, in Salta, while wearing the shirts of the rival teams. They declared it the “Super Classic Gay Kiss”:
An extract of the text in the post reads:
The super classic Gay Kiss. We're black, we're from the slums, we're from the countryside, we're poor. We don't have the stereotypical slim body, we're the face that coloniality refuses to acknowledge. We're fags, empowered and subaltern, away from the steretypical “classic” gay [man] […] We live our lives in spaces and memories that are always silenced by the heteronorm and the LGBTnorm […] An Argentine clssic is not Boca vs River. An Argentinian classic is seeing we're stigmatized, insulted, expelled (from our lands), hated, killed.
The post attracted all kinds of reactions and comments of support, rejection, ridicule, admiration, love, and hate from users. Global Voices spoke with Mamaní about the post via WhatsApp:
An interesting thing was seeing how they were attacking us by saying we were not Argentinian […] What they were trying to say is that the face of Argentina is white, is heterosexual, and has no brown or indigenous attributes, nor it has any sexual diversity.
Mamaní acknowledged that he is cautious when he publishes on social networks, aware of how it exposes them to attacks and intolerance. But they do not let attacks and negative criticism interfere with their main goal to disseminate artistic work through their drag persona, Bartolina, in the spirit of environmental, social, political and gender activism.
Mamaní also stressed how they are constantly challenged within the “drag queen scene” and LGBTQ communities of Argentina. Their way of expressing diversity from a “peripheral perspective” — away from the urban centers of power, Mamaní says, is questioned by choosing, instead, a drag character from the aesthetic of Bolivian indigenous culture:
It is not the same to be a white gay [man] from the city than a brown gay [man], with body that is not normative [according the dominant idea of beauty], with an indigenous face, who lives in a community far from all capitalist culture. [Being] gay, poor, from the working class… all of that defines and differentiates [our social] structures [and experiences].

August 10, 2018

Argentina's Senate Shoots Down The Abortion Bill {The Church had a Counter Fight and Won}

A woman spreads green smoke outside Argentina's Congress after senators rejected legal abortions.
Argentina's Senate has rejected a bill to legalise elective abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, an issue that has divided the homeland of Pope Francis.
Lawmakers debated for more than 15 hours and voted 38-31 against the bill on Thursday.
The decision could echo across Latin America, where the Roman Catholic Church has lost influence and moral authority due to secularisation, an out-of-touch clerical caste and an avalanche of sex abuse scandals.
For long hours, thousands of supporters wearing green handkerchiefs that represent the effort to legalise abortion and opponents of the measure wearing light blue, braved heavy rain and cold temperatures to watch the debate on large screens set up outside Congress.
The demonstrations were largely peaceful, but after the vote, small groups of protesters clashed with police, throwing firebombs and setting up flaming barricades. Police officers responded with tear gas.
The lower house had already passed the measure and conservative President Mauricio Macri had said that he would sign it, even though he is anti-abortion.
In Argentina, abortion is only allowed in cases of rape and risks to a woman's health. Thousands of women, most of them poor, are hospitalised each year for complications linked due to unsafe illegal abortions.
The Health Ministry estimated in 2016 that the country sees as many as half a million clandestine abortions each year, with dozens of women dying as a result.
The Catholic Church and other groups oppose it, saying it violates Argentine law, which guarantees life from the moment of conception.
The contentious issue has divided Argentines, pitting conservative doctors and the Catholic Church against feminist groups and physicians.
"It's not about religious beliefs but about a humanitarian reason," Cardinal Mario Poli, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, told churchgoers at a "Mass for Life" at the capital city's Metropolitan Cathedral on Wednesday.
"Caring for life is the first human right and the duty of the state."
Pope Francis this year had denounced abortion as the "white glove" equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families "to accept the children that God gives them."
"Let's recognise that we're facing a public health tragedy because 3030 women who have died is a tragedy," said Magdalena Odarda, a senator for Rio Negro province.
"We're not deciding abortion yes or now. We're deciding abortion in a hospital, or illegal abortion, with a clothes hanger, or anything else that puts a woman in a humiliating, degrading situation - a real torture," she said.
For months, hundreds of doctors in Argentina had staged anti-abortion protests, in one case laying their white medical coats on the ground outside the presidential palace.
Feminists and other groups led even larger demonstrations in support of the measure, often wearing green that symbolises the pro-abortion movement, or red cloaks and white bonnets like the characters from the novel-turned-TV series The Handmaid's Tale.
Australian Associated Press

May 12, 2018

Argentinian Sports Channel Makes Fun of Putin's Anti Gay Propaganda








As Russia gears up to host the World Cup this summer, an Argentine sports channel aired a TV commercial mocking President Vladimir Putin’s “gay propaganda” ban.
The ad TyC Sports launched Thursday addresses Putin’s draconian crackdown on gay “propaganda” with humor using double entendres, as the commercial shows soccer fans’ reactions over typical situations such as celebrating a goal or protesting a referee’s decision. “Mr. Putin, we found out that your country does not admit displays of love among men. So we are in trouble!” 
The commercial shows a man weeping over the farewell of a soccer player on TV, saying, “We come from a country where it’s normal to see a man cry over another man.”
The commercial adds that it’s normal to get the face of a soccer star like Diego Armando Maradona or Lionel Messi tattooed on a man’s chest. Referencing Putin again, the commercial underscores that, “Perhaps for tough men like you, it is hard to understand some love gestures … there’s nothing more exciting than to see a bunch of men jumping naked in the locker room,” as images simultaneously show a soccer team thunderously celebrating a match’s victory.
“Mr. Putin, if love among men is a disease for you, then we are very sick. And you know what? It’s contagious.” The commercial concludes by showing Messi scoring a goal during the 2014 World Cup.  
But hours after the release, controversy ensued. Several Argentines and pro-LGBT advocates have expressed their disgust on social media, calling the ad homophobic and insensitive. The TV commercial was taken down from the channel's Twitter and YouTube accounts.
"This is horrible and humilliating, and it's making fun of the persecution gays suffer in Russia. What's next, TyC Sports?," a Twitter user said.  
"Can you imagine the number of gay children and adolescents who are still in the closet and who will see how their family will laugh with the TyC Sports spot [which is] full of homophobic jokes? They don't have an idea how harmful these messages are on media, morons," another user wrote. 
TyC Sports is known for ads that contain political banter. As the channel announced the coverage of the continental soccer tournament Copa America Centenario in 2016—hosted by the United States at the time—the commercial showed tidbits of then-Republican candidate Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant comments during one of the GOP debates. In the ad, Trump was seen saying that the U.S. “is in serious trouble” because “we have people coming in through the border that are not people that we want [sic],” as footage of Argentine players descending from the plane appeared, in an apparent reference that the South American nation had a powerful team that could clinch the trophy.
As Trump said “these are total killers” and that are not the “sweet little people you think,” the commercial showed Argentine players scoring spectacular goals. In fact, Argentina defeated the U.S. in the tournament’s semifinals.
When Brazil hosted the World Cup in 2014, the channel released another TV ad using footage of Pope Francis, of Argentine origin himself, during his 2013 visit to Rio de Janeiro—where he was received euphorically. In the commercial, he could be seen saying, “Be the ones who lead! Go forward! Kick forward! The Pope is with you” as images of the Argentina national football team and overexcited fans emerged. The ad concluded, “If one Argentinean [in reference to Pope Francis] did this in Brazil, imagine 23 [in reference to the players].”
Moscow has faced protests over its anti-gay legislation, in the wake of popular sports events for which the country has served as hosts. During the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia passed legislation that prohibited gay pride parades or any demonstration of LGBT awareness, which prompted protests in the country and abroad.

The country’s anti-LGBT climate have prevented soccer fans from visiting the country this summer, according to SB Nation. Russian authorities are allowing people to bring rainbow flags during the tournament, adding that LGBT people won’t be targeted. However, advocacy groups are warning LGBT soccer fans about displaying love gestures such as holding hands, the website added. 

BY 
Newsweek





December 4, 2017

Rugby Player Left With Fractured Eye in Horrendous Homophobic Attack



 RUGBY player Jonathan Castellari suffered a horrendous homophobic attack in Argentina which left him hospitalized with a fractured eye.
Jonathan was buying breakfast when we were jumped by seven men and savagely beaten up.

 Jonathan Castellari endured a fracture around his eye and needs stitches Jonathan Castellari endured a fracture around his eye and needs stitches

The player is a member of Ciervos Pampas Rugby Club, an organization that aims to fight discrimination against homophobia.
According to Marca, Castellari was with a friend at the time when the group of men started hurling insults in his direction.
He was then on the receiving end of beatings as pictures show him with a badly swollen eye and blood splattered on his shirt.
A statement from LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights in Argentina read: "From the Argentina LGBT Federation we are already accompanying them during this terrible moment and doing everything in our power to ensure that the justice system responds quickly and finds those responsible."

 Jonathan Castellari was beaten up by homophobic thugs 
Jonathan Castellari was beaten up by homophobic thugs

Lifelong friend Agustina Vivero uploaded a picture of Castellari to Twitter alongside the caption: "Today at 6am, a group attacked my friend to within an inch of his life, shouting 'F****t" and "F****** f****t'.  
 "It came just days after we were celebrating Gay Pride.
"He doesn't know how many stitches he will need and they need to operate after a fracture in some part of his eye. Everything hurts."
In a separate tweet, Vivero added: "Discrimination at work, bullying at school, going out on the street in fear of being beaten, just for loving someone of the same sex."
By Richard Forrester
The Sun Uk

April 7, 2014

Argentina’s Leader Gladmother to Gay Couple’s Child





Carina Villarroel and Soledad Ortiz said that baby Umma’s baptism was a sign of "social change" in the Catholic church 
Argentina's leader, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has become godmother to the child of a lesbian couple who was baptised in a Catholic church.
Umma Azul, just over two months old, was baptised in the city of Cordoba.
One of the couple was quoted as saying they approached President Fernandez to be godmother because they wanted to thank her for supporting gay rights.
The president legalised same-sex marriage despite opposition from Argentina's Catholic hierarchy.
Officially, the Church remains firmly opposed to gay marriage.
However, some within the Church have argued for easing this stance.
Pope Francis, himself from Argentina, says all children may be baptised.
Since becoming Pope, he has been associated with a more tolerant approach to homosexuality.
However, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had opposed the legalisation of gay marriage.
Ms Fernandez did not attend the ceremony in Cordoba, sending a representative instead.
Umma Azul is the first child of Carina Villaroel and Soledad Ortiz. The couple are not believed to know President Fernandez personally.
In approaching her, they adapted an Argentine tradition which allows any couple to ask the president to be godparent to their seventh child.

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