2003, 2005: La historia boliviana detrás de "En Busca de la Vida"

Uploaded by enbuscadelavida on 23.11.2010

What we had before, things like the gas war here in Bolivia, it was rough.
It was much harder than what you see in the telenovela.
It was much worse.
It makes me sad to remember.
The Bolivian history behind "Looking for Life"
Those of us in El Alto, in La Paz, in Bolivia, we lived through all of that.
And we're standing up again. We fall, and again we stand.
That whole movement was tremendous.
I was in my Mom's shop, and we could hear the shots,
We heard the explosions, the tanks as they arrived...
The people were terrified and made bonfires of tires.
We begin the story in 2000, with the gas war in Cochabamba.
The water war, sorry, in Cochabamba.
And that's a clear reference to the revolution of '52.
That we have a country that, each time it tires of authoritarianism and repression,
it explodes. It explodes big.
With that, the indigenous movements grow in power.
The indigenous "March for Life" from the eastern jungles to La Paz
was an important milestone.
And in 2003, we have the government of Goni Sánchez de Lozada,
which has lost its legitimacy.
And Evo is a congressional deputy is expelled from congress by the right wing.
But instead of expelling him, they really give him power.
They push him out, but with that, the people recognize him.
It's as if the people project on him all of their trust and their rage.
Evo is president, because El Alto wanted him there.
2003 is an important marker. I remember I was in the streets in February.
Because there was a violent conflict between the army and the police.
The people went to the street and burnt the campaign offices of the traditional political parties.
I was there when they burned the offices of the MIR in La Paz.
The people were so furious at the dirty politics practices by these parties,
that they went to the MIR offices and burned them to the ground.
El Alto has always been like hands ready to strangle La Paz.
In 1781 was the first siege of La Paz.
When the indigenous people besieged La Paz in the most important resistence in the colonial period.
Seventy percent of the occupying Spaniards died.
As a result of the siege.
Tupac Katari.
And now, any time there are social explosions, revolutions,
the indigenous people remember that they have to besiege La Paz.
We always lay siege.
So all of the access roads were closed with bonfires, barricades...
protests, marches...
And the President, there in his palace downtown, he didn't know what to do.
And he had to resign, because La Paz had been strangled.
On the one hand, it was beautiful to see how the people stood up and protested.
We wanted to go on the street because that's when you lost your fear.
You wanted to stand up to them.
But then at night you were afraid, because you heard the shots,
you could hear a helicopter, people breaking electrical poles...
It made me fear for my children
when we heard all of that.
2003, Goni flees with the Gas War.
And then we have two governments, first Carlos Mesa.
He was an interesting intellectual, but we saw when it came time to administer the government,
he weakens and betrays his own class, where he's from.
I think he wanted to have his cake and eat it too,
That the richest of the rich and poorest of the poor, that everyone could be happy.
But we all knew that to change the country, we had to mess with the privileges of the richest of the rich.
And that means a serious conflict.
Because there are people who change the way they talk,
and it seems there's a change, but there's no real change.
New words serve only to cover an eternal mania not to change.
So of course all of us very quickly got fed up and went to the streets to say, "Get out of here!"
"We want a country that changes, not a country with eternal dialogue where nothing ever changes."
Because not changing means maintaining the privileges for the rich under which we have lived.
Carlos Mesa couldn't handle it and had to resign.
We believe that people's movements and labor unions need to add joy and play to their protests.
And I think that the kids doing art changes the way people see the political protests.
And we have trained them so they can go to other young people and teach them.
so that art can make a difference in the places where kids and young people get together.
Teenagers are able to organize themselves very quickly.
And the most important youth movements in El Alto use art as the glue that holds them together.
They do theater, music, hip-hop, or other activities.
I think that art is the cement that holds the youth movement together in 21st century El Alto.
We have to defend our democracy!
And I know that the kids are using this to imagine, to construct dreams.
And dreaming is the foundation of reality.
Because what you dream will come to be.
We can change the world through the lucidity of our dreams.
And I think the experience of making the telenovela has done that.
Before we started the telenovela, Ivan and I talked for a long time about which revolutions have succeeded, and which have failed.
And we talked about two revolutions, first the Russian, in 1917.
During the first years of the revolution, on the anniversary of the date the people took the Winter Palace,
every year, the same people who had taken the Palace did exactly the same thing.
They made a play of what they had done years before.
The moment that the revolution ends, is when Stalin prohibits this protest.
The second example is the revolution of the Kuna Indians against Panamá in 1925.
And even today, they re-inact the revolution they fought eighty years ago.
The Kuna revolution continues to be strong.
So we began to wonder if the success of a revolution, to not turn totalitarian,
Might it be because the people re-live and re-create their revolution?
So we aked, how can we do this?
How can we re-live the revolutions of 2003 and 2005?
And we proposed to re-live it as a telenovela.
With the loss of a horizon for the left in Latin America, especially in Bolivia,
We've been searching by touch, like blind men,
for new paradigms and new discourses.
And I'm very happy that art has come to play the role, not so much as an actor in itself,
not as the protagonist in the play, but as a tool.
As a tool that can help us see in other ways a chance to build...
utopias. To find support and a role model.
That's why we talk about how the body has to open itself.
The dis-colonization of the body.
We are Aymaras.
We are people with profound roots in the indigenous, Aymara world.
But we're urban Aymaras and we live in El Alto.
So andean rituals, our relationship with the Apus,
Which are always there, these beautiful mountains we see on the horizon,
The Earth, the Pachamama,
This direct contact maintains for us such strong roots and such a connection to nature.
And the arts that we develop emerge from that proximity.
We believe that the indigenous world has a theatrality.
But not exactly as theater.
It's a theatrality that expresses itself in our excessive cultural manifestations.
It's there in the Fiesta. And since we are a people who have been completely colonized,
people are often scared and domesticated.
But they wait for the day of the volcano.
In order to expand, to break these barriers of humiliation...
of low self esteem, fear, timidity, all of the things that we Andeans have used to close ourselves in,
Alcohol and the fiesta let people open themselves and be others.
We oppose these stimulants as the primary way for people to be open,
to be free, to express themselves.
That's why we think art can be a wonderful channel.
For the kids who come here, theater is basically a space to approach the other.
For dialogue, to encounter oneself with the other.
So we break down the idea that I'm going to take a character from such and such a play,
to wear the role like a suit.
Instead, it's "I'm going to transfigure myself by finding the others that are here inside me,"
Others in me who can dialogue with the others in the other.
This is how we start.
Someone, probably Tin-Tin, yells.
"Comrades, urgent!..."
That's the fiesta.
Every day in El Alto, we see that celebration, fiesta, color...
the carnaval groups, and the theater we do,
it doesn't have anything to do with European theater.
It's more a way to approach the drives of the body,
Pure fiesta.