Monday, September 8, 2008

Vamos por mas Victorias!

"Vamos por más Victorias¨was the title of a variety show I performed with colleague Ariel Bravo for the 2008 International Theater Festival in Managua. It was also President Daniel Ortega´s slogan, plastered all over the country on large billboards to small stickers, for the municipal elections held in November 2008. Ortega´s intended meaning was ¨Let´s go for more victories!¨as in municipal electoral victories to add to his win as President and his party´s accomplishments. ¨Victoria¨is also the name of one of Nicaragua´s most popular beers, of which there are only two, so I read the slogan as ¨Let´s go drink more beer!¨. My interpretation became the punch line for stories and people´s complaints regarding the failure of the Ortega government to live up to its promises. So you lost your job? Vamos por más Victorias! So more women are dying because Ortega made all abortion illegal? Vamos por más Victorias! etc.

Ariel´s and my show juxtaposed the plight of freedivers on Nicaragua´s Atlantic coast whose bodies shrivel from their punishing work with my tales of cultural misunderstanding and mediation with the traffic police, littering, catcalling men, shopping etiquette, and dogs.

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