". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Xalapa Siete - Hangin' with los Muertos

     . . . . Our official work is concluded, so we're trying to relax and see as much of this city and state as we can before leaving.

This is the weekend before el día de los muertos (November 1), which is in full swing festivities aleady, making traffic worse, but making every blink of the eye filled with something interesting and fun. Even so, last night, after all the long day of Slave Coast events, I fell out and slept for nearly 12 hours last night.  When last did I do that when not sick?

But awesome el V, after a 45 minute nap, went to work, reviewing essays of his NYU students, and then attended Donald Harrison Jazz Symphony, with himself and his group playing with the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra.  Then, he went to the reception afterwards.  He got in about 1:30 AM.  I never heard him, even though I'd been sleeping for hours already by then.

So much has happened, and so much continues to happen, all this, running in parallel with the city's ever intensifying Day of the Dead celebrations. 

Today is cool and a little rainy. El V and I went to a Day of the Dead tamale festival, where I found cool regalos for mis amigas, including lots of items made out of chocolate (which grows here, btw) and are formed into images that roll with el dia de los muertos. Since I get back Monday, I will be able to give them out on Halloween, most appropriately.  There were many groups of dancers and bands from all over, performing, one after another, including some splendid flamanco, one of my favorite forms of dance - music.  This is going on everywhere!  Actually, it feels like the week of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  Donald thinks so, and he ought to know.


El V bought local artisan cervezas.  He also ate several different tamales -- and then we went to lunch with Donald and the guys.

Tonight there's a very large Day of the Dead parade, that passes right by our Hotel Clara Luna, so I have a spectacular view of it from the second floor window overlooking the street. 

Tomorrow we are going to meet with an historian and anthropologist, whose study is the African cultures in the state of Veracruz.  She is the aunt of one of the tremendously talented volunteer organizers who has been herding all the gatos who are the talent of the festival. (Like everyone else doing the actual work, she hasn't slept in days, so I feel a real wimp-fool for my 12 hours fall out last night. El V is particularly excited as Dr. Sagrario Cruz-Carretero is very famous at the CUNY Grad Center among our anthro friends there.  He says, "How envious they will be when we tell them!"

I have uploaded yesterday's and today's photos, but I'm too tired right now to post any of them. But they are colorful!

Ooo, I am hearing the squeals, yells and screams from the people in the street already as the parade begins!  And now I hear the bands!

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