Developed by Vividero Colectivo.
Charles Gonzalez: co-creation and spatial Design
Acción de Gracia is a net of images, sounds and actions that allows the spectators to create an empathic and appropriative experience by coming into contact with social practices from the immaterial heritage of Barrio Santa Fe, the red light district of Bogota. Through a sensitive connection with the life and habits of some of their neighbours, the project builds up a cartography of the local cultural and political tensions and their association with the rest of the city and country. The project, relied on a research into the deteriorated architectural goods of the zone and the plans for regenerating/cleaning the area in contrast with the value of some humanistic activities happening there, as they practice an inclusive and organic construction of collective memory of a complex city and society like Bogota and Colombia. It also designates an endangered poetical territory.
Acción de Gracia (translated as ‘Thanks-giving Action’ or ‘An Action of Grace) has as its references the Central Cemetery and the dynamics that are generated in its immediate surroundings. Acción de Gracia deepens in the figure of María Salomé, patron saint of the prostitutes, whose tomb was originally buried there and was moved to the South Cemetery, an area of low working class. The displacement of her tomb can be seen as a metaphor of the current and possibly future situation of transgender women that have been forced to live inside the boundaries of the red light district. María Salomé and the numerous versions of her legend are a sensory device that made it possible to hear the plurality of voices that juxtapose in the Santa Fe neighbourhood. This piece is an offering to trans women that were murdered for shaping a gender full of grace and a disobedient sexuality. A piece of voices woven in legends, prayers and rituals, of voices that speak for those that were silenced and outcast, of bodies that let us see a physical and metaphysical territory, and of emancipations that generate a high impact in the city´s culture.
The theatrical installation is made within a warehouse beside the cemetery (bought by the Plan Centro for the future recovery of the zone) with the support of audiovisual documents and (non-actor) performers from the community of Barrio Santa Fe and workers of the graveyard.
Text: Carlos Maria Romero
Photos: Charles Gonzalez Bernal
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