“Festejo, disfraz y sustento”: Cultural Festival, Exhibition, and Film Screening in Vieques

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The project called “Festejo, disfraz y sustento: el arte y la creatividad colectiva” [Celebration, Costume, and Sustenance: Art and Collective Creativity] aims to present visual, artistic and poetic experiences related to collective festival arts and, in particular, to Vieques’ Patron Saint Festivities [Fiestas Patronales de Vieques]. All the events will take place from July 12 until September 21, 2014.

The festivities open on July 12, at 7:00pm, with a collective exhibition in the west room of the Conde de Mirasol Fort Museum—a collaboration between Proyecto Diáspora, represented by Nadjah Ríos and Camilo Carrión and másTaller, a mask-making workshop led by Lowell Fiet. The celebration includes a screening of the documentary Vieques, manos arriba [Hands Up, Vieques] at Conde de Mirasol Fort. This will be followed by a cocktail party where participants will be able to speak informally with the creators of the event.

másTaller is an artistic and educational project led by Professor Lowell Fiet (UPR-Río Piedras) offering workshops on mask-making and artistic-body expression for children, youth, and adults in schools, through organizations such as the Caribbean Project for Justice and Peace and the Claridad Festival.

Vieques manos arriba, a documentary film by Nadjah Ríos and Proyecto Diáspora, explores the musical tradition of calypso and steel drums on the island municipality of Vieques. This cultural practice—so common in the Anglophone Caribbean—has found on this island (dubbed Isla Nena) an audience accustomed to the migration flows from other Caribbean islands, allowing for the ready adoption of the deep musicality of the steel drum. The documentary is based on ethnographic interviews of musicians, singers, calypso orchestra leaders, who trace the arrival of this rhythm to Vieques. The trajectory and development of steel pan music is complemented with images and historical documents that reveal a Puerto Rican history linked to the English-speaking Caribbean.

[Information based on an article by María Cristina Rodríguez, En Rojo, Claridad, 9 July 2014.]

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