Watch Out for the Latinas! (By Martín Zícari)
It’s the run up to the start of the festival and I wander around the theater trying to make sense of what I see: Latin American artists have taken over the KVS almost by siege.
Every room is filled with loud Latinas, more Latinas when I go up in the elevator, the corridors lead to hidden rehearsal rooms filled with more Latinas doing political stuff, taking drugs on stage, intense people. I’ve heard that even the Flemish staff is learning Spanish, so everyone must be happy with all of us wandering around.
The theatre’s cafeteria is busy with various expanding networks of meetings and the very appreciated escapism: the banquet lunch, going out for a smoke to gossip, the exchange of Instagram accounts. The eternal question of who knows who lives there with whom.
After two years of being secluded, it is almost hallucinatory to be sharing this space.
How is it even possible? Where do all these people come from? Some flew in, just days ago, whole teams coming from remote countries; some others live quite close by, only a train away, or like me, just a short bike ride, some are touring for months. But regardless of distances travelled, and of the bureaucratic complications those distances imply, regardless of the burn out of almost everyone and of the safety measures and of the facemasks and of everything that is seemingly separating us, collectives and individuals from Latin America are now, in the present, occupying the main stages and rehearsal rooms of Brussels, simultaneously, I insist. (We have even landed some Latinas in P.A.R.T.S.!!)
And I insist, in this present situation, because it’s all we have been granted for now, it feels as if another long winter is coming, the city is getting dark, right in the middle of eclipse season. The KVS's traditional building, inaugurated in 1887, obviously build with Congolese revenue and obviously sustained in part in the present with actual participation in extractive companies in Latin America -names- is now draining resources for some crazy festival project. Does this mean that a minimal portion is somehow coming back, restituted? How much do they owe? And, who comes forward to cover the rest?
Martín Zícari is a Brussels-based Argentinian writer and researcher. Published author of fiction, poetry and essay, his research focuses on Latin American activism legacies through the lens of performance and dance theory.