Friday, February 25, 2011

Bringing back the arts to the Carnival

Barranquilla--my home--has many names: the Golden Gate of Colombia, the Capital of the Atlantic Republic, Curramba The Beautiful (kinda lame translation for Curramba La Bella), The Sandy (yet another lame translation for La Arenosa)... but Barranquilla is mostly known for it's Carnival.

Declared a Masterpice of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003, my Carnival (well, the Carnival of Barranquilla) is a BIG DEAL. Unfortunately, two events make me have nothing but bad memories of this world-reknowned event; they are the reason why I celebrate 12 years of not going to a Carnival. The first one involved a death in the family around this time of year (Carnival is celebrated in late February), and the other one involved many drunk people and a cigarrette burn. You see, people drink a lot during the Carnival. Ok, people drink a lot anywhere, anytime (it's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?), but they do more so during the 4 days of Carnival. Though I have nothing against drinking (before my gallbladder incident I did my fair share of drinking...), I do have something against being-12-years-old-and-surrounded-by-drunken-adults-who-refuse-to-let-me-go-home. You see, Carnival celebrations start (oficially) on a Saturday morning, at around 10-ish, and end on the following Tuesday at around 5 p.m. During those 4 days, the drinking only stops because people sleep (or pass out).

I hated it. And I vowed never to attend a Carnival again.

This year, my brilliant friends from Coliseo Films have done some shots for the Carnival. They are bringing the arts back to the Carnival, and they are making me love it, yearn it,  miss it. You see, I actually do remember a time when it was all about the dances, the beautiful women and their synchronized hip movements, about the costumes and the music; not about the drinking. My friends are showing me that the art I so miss is back.

Take a look at their videos. Aside from the fact that they are amazingly well shot, done and edited, see how artistic my Carnival can be.

That I really want to go back to.

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