The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Midas touch

Glad to see I still got it... uh, sorta.  When I was performing and doing a lot of composing (as opposed to what I am doing now, decomposing)  I garnered some mighty fine reviews from around the world.  Hmm... there was that one that said I "should leave town and never write music again" or the one that said I was "too stupid to realize I should have been embarrassed."  Oh sure, there was one that said my "music was better than sex," but it was from a music critic, so I knew they had no reference point.

At any rate, I am lying low, off the grid, out of the scene, and yet...  I do one little tiny thing and "bam", the whole thing explodes, I'm right back in the middle of a controversy. (Translated)
A promotional video for the traditional festival of the Guelaguetza in Oaxaca, caused controversy in social networks, after some tweeters and bloggers to postearan comments against the material, since it seemed "racist", "demeaning" and even offering an image of Indians as "merchandise".

In the video are wearing their tuxedos regional indigenous people dancing around tourists, either in the Walker tour of the city or in a Museum, but also as background for two people to take a picture in front of Cathedral and even to make a woman look them while she is lying down in a hotel room.

here is a part in which some indigenous women take pains to offer clothes to a high tourist and of white skin which is up on a pedestal, while two of the women are inclined to fix your wardrobe.
On Twitter, Oaxacan users expressed their dissatisfaction, and some directly called on Governor Gabino Cué to intervene in the matter.

The feast of the Guelaguetza, which means "share" or "offering", is traditional in Oaxaca which is performed for many years in the capital city the last two Mondays in July, and in which representatives of the eight regions of the State, with dancing typical of their communities.

Here the video caused controversy:
 The bold above is me taking the photo, but all you can see is my butt (at 0:21), but it good to see I can piss people off not even being seen.  Ah... that Midas touch.

To some degree, I can agree with the criticism.  There is a perspective that says the government ignores the indigenous all year, except for the guelaguetza and then they promote and exploit them like crazy.  The festival is a huge cash cow and tens of thousands of tourists show and add to the state's coffers.  If this controversy can advance fair and equitable treatment for the huge indigenous population, I say good.  Glad to have pissed people off, if something better comes of it.

Obviously, this was not my project, nor did I have anything to do with its conception.  I just showed up and turned my back to the camera, but I am most reassured.... "I've still got it, Mom."

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