So Juarez has recently been called by Proceso Magazine, “the most violent city in Mexico” and Alejandra Gomez, an intelligent writer living in Juarez who writes for local online publication Newspaper Tree, talks about her interview with Australian 60 minutes film crew, visiting to film stories of the drug war.
But I want to talk about last night where I joined a nearly full 1800 seat auditorium in Juarez to enjoy a performance of Rigaletto by the Opera Center of Moscow. I walked out of the theater just before 10, and there was a crowd enjoying a free performance by the visiting Sinoloa Symphony Orchestra on the esplanade next to the Cultural Center. There were food and jewelry vendors at the booths and people were eating at tables set up listening to the music. I was tired and as I was leaving a grizzled parking lot attendant called out “Where are you going. It’s too early. The music is still playing.”
Admittedly this is all part of the nearly month-long Chihuahua festival, but nevertheless the city has brought ballet and graphic artists from Brazil, the production STOMP, tomorrow night for free, as well as performers from Senegal, South Africa, ballet, symphonies and opera. Much of it is free, all of it enjoyable, and in general it is important to realize that despite the very real violence which occurs daily, this is a city which has a huge cultural life which also plays a huge role in peoples lives. It is a city filled with food vendors and music, a city where people sing in the streets, children play in the parks and everyone seems to be munching on something. In short, it is a thriving city and this too should be considered a part of this rich and historically significant city.-david sokolec