ORGANIZER: Donald Urizar
We organized festival with painters, musicians and street artists on sept 28 in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
Our little city is near the mexican border. When Guatemala and all of the countries from Central America got their independence from Spain, Quetzaltenango had some powerful families, one of the most important places for agriculture and culture, then; Quetzaltenango`s citizens decided to create another country: The Los Altos Sixth State but only worked for 3 years until General Carrera killed all the goverment and destroyed the city.
Since then, “Xela” – as we called our city – always has the idea to create another pattern of cultural life because we concentrate the most native people from Guatemala, we`re in the western and our location provide us commerce, infraestructure and networks to exchange experiences between southern mexican artists and guatemalan artists.
We mixed our festival, 100 Thousand Poets for Change with some painters from our city. They have a small area to exposition and curator but our citizens don`t know what kind of art they have.
The place was the Train Station in the middle of the 20`s, almost a century ago. Our train was the first electric train in Latin America. Unfortunately, Guatemala`s government decided to close the railways, destroyed the trains and changed the use of the Train Station as a Militar Base.
For many years, this building was closed to the public, and many think it was a torture center of the Guatemalan army in our war between 1960 – 1996.
Since 1997, many people started a movement to recover the building and create a Cultural Center for our city. Then, when the government gave us the place, the Mayor thought it`s a good idea if the Art Museum would be move there.
So, the director Arturo Diaz started a small studio – museum and he try to find the way to create conscience by art.
That`s why he told us, you should help me to do a street art festival on september 28 and we accepted their offer because it was next to our activity and we have seen his efforts to promote new artists here.
Then, We worked 100 thousand poets for change as Poetry Slam Xela, finding a new way to share the wisdom between arts in Xela.
We were six poets:
Maria Elena Marroquín, she´s wearing a green shirt on their photos.
Ana Marìa González, she´s wearing a white suit.
María Elena Ponciano, she´s wearing a gray dress.
Angela Sacalxot, she´s wearing a blue shirt.
Aldo Bautista, he´s wearing a white shirt and sunglasses.
Donald Urizar, he´s wearing a white shirt with our logo.
Many painters decided to expose their paintings on the streets meanwhile pedestrians walked around the Museum´s hall.
It was very exciting moment because we met other artists who shared their knowledge about poetry, painting, theatre in general.
We believe our festival increased consciousness in people.
And, we are going to make one festival (poetry and painting) per month since october.
We appreciate the 100 Thousand Poets for Change vision to start a movement to create networks between many cultures, countries and cities.
We hope to work together again the next year.
Poetry Slam Xela