Rudi, Michal and Andi-Lou performed in around Chiapas in January and February. The project included a nine day collaboration with Save the Children…..
Nick Trotter writes from Chiapas, Mexico where he joined Rudi Galindo on a Clowns Without Borders project in January 2008.
Chiapas April 2004
Fears going to a new place…Almost getting ripped off in the airport…My incredibly bad Spanish…Rudi’s incredibly bad driving…Traveling by boat from one town to the next…Hiking to the next village…Local residents opening up their homes to us… Eating delicious homemade rice and beans…Huge piles of drying chilies…The heat…Sweat incurred from a performance…Washing our costumes daily and hanging them to dry in the sun…Tim’s (nevertheless) smelly pants…Getting attacked by ants during a show…Performing at the intersection of two streets in a village, alongside turkeys and stray dogs…Staying with lovely sisters in their convent…Experimenting with new ways of performing…Watching Tim and John get on local people’s bicycles during a show and ride them around…Alexandra’s lovely house in San Cristobal de las Casas…Evening music jams…John’s dog Peaknuckle and his wonderful tricks…Giving awards to each other our final night in Chiapas…Not wanting to return home…
Rudi returns to Chiapas to clown solo for the first two weeks of 2004.
Because of the smoky atmosphere from the fires burning in this unusually dry season, the sun was a neon orange, and it was framed by a cascade of almost vertical slopes topped with blunt nubs. Long story short, in this otherworldly place, we took an opportunity during the show to sneak into the church and disappear into its cool darkness with giggles and clown glee. We closed the doors and waited a moment, only to emerge with nothing to show for our actions. We were told later, after we ended the show early, that most of the people didn«t like the performance, because it was “of the world”. So the bananas rode out of The Bananas with food for thought and a forlorn cry: “Adios! Los Platanos!”
Caravana de la Risa Tour
Despite the rapprochement of the Zapatistas and newly elected president Fox, tangible reforms and passage of an effective indigenous law replicating the 1996 accords in San Andreas. Congress did just pass a new indigenous law but took most of the key provisions such as territorial rights, community jurisdiction and mineral rights out of the law. Watered down to the extent that opposition (PRD) deputies walked out of the Congress during debates in protest.
As always, and we are always happy to hear people ask us to come back, to bring others to Chiapas. The rewards are great indeed, some of the most beautiful people and country on this planet, and the most innocent audiences ready for clowning.
Show in the afternoon in the INI for some 50 kids, displaced from three communities near Chenalho…stories about discordance amongst the families, no clear leadership amongst three disparate groups living communally in a barn like structure. After the show the kids are treated to popsicles, they all line up and one by one tell the young boy working the ice cream cart what they want. There us great excitement as the piñatas are strung up. The kids are separated by age group and each group rings around their piñata strung up over the branch of a large tree. Faces squirm and explode with each stick swing, miss, hit and then scramble on the ground in a big cloud of dust when the piñata breaks. A couple of social workers try to infiltrate the scrimmage to calm the fury of hands scooping candy but they are unable. A huge bag of cheap plastic toys are distributed, the kids are looking happy.