A lesson in Hemi-Esperanto (2009)

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'A Lesson on Hemi Esperanto' was presented as a part of the 7th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, held in August of 2009 in Bogotá, Colombia, under the title 'Staging Citizenship: Cultural Rights in the Americas.' This 10-day event brought together activism, scholarship, and art around the themes of legacies, memories, struggles, and frontiers of citizenship. As a part of the Encuentro, performance artist Susana Cook coordinated a series of late-night performances that were staged in Mapa Teatro’s theater space – an old house where the ruins of the past coexist with the vitality of live performances. Every night, participants presented short, sometimes impromptu, cabaret-style performances, transforming Mapa Teatro into an open site for artistic experimentation and exchange. One of these performances was 'A Lesson on Hemi Esperanto,' a spoken word work that questions and plays with intercultural 'understanding,' ultimately privileging the bilingual audience members able to navigate the multiple layers of mistranslation and double meanings. This video documentation represents a unique opportunity to better understand the transnational-hemispheric perspective promoted by the ‘Encuentros.’

Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist/writer and the director of the transnational arts collective La Pocha Nostra. He was born in Mexico City and came to the US in 1978. Since then he has been exploring cross-cultural issues with the use of performance, multilingual poetry, journalism, video, radio, and installation art. His performance work and eight books have contributed to the debates on cultural diversity, identity, and US-Mexico relations. His art work has been presented at over seven hundred venues across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Russia and Australia. He is a MacArthur Fellow, American Book Award winner, and a Senior Fellow of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. He is a regular contributor to National Public Radio, a writer for newspapers and magazines in the US, Mexico, and Europe, and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT).


Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/5tb2rd73

Additional Info

  • Título: A lesson in Hemi-Esperanto
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duração: 00:08:23
  • Idioma: English, Spanish
  • Data da performance: 2009 Aug 27
  • Lugar: Performed at Mapa Teatro, in Bogotá, Colombia, on August 27, 2009, as part of the 7th Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.
  • Type/Format: performance
  • Cast/Performers: Guillermo Gómez-Peña, performer.
  • Credits: Carmen Oquendo, videographer.

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