Friday, October 12, 2007

Dia de la Raza or Die, Columbus, Die?

The internal dialogues bristle and pop with even more kinetic energy this time of year as the growing legion of Chicano, Mexica and Red Road activists make friends with technology and begin using spoken word, the internet and recovery of ancestral knowledge to discuss and define a post-Chicano movement that is much more clearly articulated as an indigenous wave that counters colonial and Western hegemony. Sorry if that seems sort of dense. What it boils down to is a barrage of music, art and ceremony in celebration of all that was before, what Los Poetas de Norte and many others, including playwright, filmmaker and founder of Teatro Campesino Luis Valdez have often referred to as a return to Anahuac. It's about erasing artificially imposed borders between nations in North America from Canada to El Salvador and Honduras, all turf that was part of a greater trading and cultural region that the Spanish, the French and the British just couldn't keep their hands off of. So eager to get some, they divided Anahuac into separate nation states in order to make the partition and re-distribution seem orderly and inevitable.

I wouldn't, under normal circumstances, be so willing to offer a Dia de la Raza round up, but for sheer magnitude, this weekend belongs to the artists and cultural warriors, DJs, bands and artisans who don't celebrate Columbus Day, but instead gather to celebrate something bigger, older and equally inevitable. And if you saw Aymara elder and the first ever indigenous president of Bolivia Evo Morales on Jon Stewart, you'll understand why the descendents of the original inhabitants of Anahuac and its rightful heirs have a right to be cheeky and in your face this week. We are not liberal, left-leaning commie pinkos, just humble gente trying to teach the world that excess is killing the planet, that violence and war are natural symptoms of opression and suppression in the wake of excessive industry, excessive wealth, excessive consumption that leaves so many of our kids on the street, undereducated, in gangs and on a suicide mission that breaks my heart every day. That ends the diatribe (for now, hazme el pinche favor!).

Eventos recomendandos hoy: Peace & Dignity Journeys 08 Benefit Concert at Proyecto Jardín (Boyle and Bridge), noon to 8 p.m. in support of runners who will run for six months beginning in Alaska to meet runners from Southern indigenous communities in Panama;. Within: The Urban Woman Experience, at Crash Mansion, 1024 S. Grand Ave., 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. featuring DJs, artists, artisans, designers, performers and more!; A Funk and R & B fueled Dia de Los Muertos tribute to James Brown at Ave. 50 Studios, 131 N. Ave. 50 (Highland Park), 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Mañana: Insurgent Verses at the Knitting Factory, 7026 Hollywood Blvd., 8 p.m., featuring Rubén Guevara, 2Mex, El Vuh, Cihuatl-Ce, Quese IMC, Tolteca and Los Poetas del Norte.

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