Artistic Riches in Juárez

I want to take a moment to talk about the wealth of artistic and cultural activities going on these days in Juarez.

Two weeks ago I went to a dance performance in the old Ciné Victoria. This formerly beautiful theater has been lying in ruins for years, and although the façade has been restored, the interior is still an abandoned pit. The performance Yo te Vivo, part of the Nellie Campobello festival, was designed, in part, to call attention to the building, with its beautiful traditional murals, as well as giving an imaginative look at immigration.

Yo te Vivo performance

One of the murals in Cine Victoria

A few days later I went to the opening of the Festival in the City, which provides theater, music and other performances for roughly two weeks.

Caravana Balkaneana at opening of Festival in City

Then there was the 3rd Encuentro Reimaginando la Ciudad desde el borde ( Reimaginingthe City from the Edge) conference during which various artists and others discussed various ways of interacting and improving the urban experience.

The tireless Brenda Ceniceros at 3rd Encuentro Reimaginando la Ciudad…

In addition there have been film series like the Iranian film series wrapping up at Cafe San Angel, or the continuing round of films at El Cinito There have been literary walks, drama readings, photo talks and workshops. This in addition to concerts, art shows, and various workshops.

Most of these are free or at very low cost. The point I want to make is that not only is there an enormous variety of activity, but in many cases these are being put on by individuals who are trying to make a difference in a city unfortunately known more for its problems than for anything else. The city is not particularly known for its artistic atmosphere, and yet through the tireless effort of various hardworking people and groups, there are perhaps more artistic and cultural events than are found in many other places considered to be art centers.

I just want to give a big shout out to everyone trying to make a difference in this city which definitely has its problems, but also a host of wonderful dedicated people doing their best to do something about it. – David Sokolec

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