La Balsada, Lake of Zurich

In the municipality of Guapi, located on the Colombian Pacific Coast, a celebration takes place every year, which begins at night, on the river, with the arrival of different rafts in homage to the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, patron saint of Guapi.

The Balsada represents the beginning of the Christmas celebrations which will continue for a month with various festivities including the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

But these festivities, wrapped in a halo of Carnival, recall in their bodies the different forms of slavery, racialisation and violence that the Afro-descendant population of the Colombian Pacific Coast has suffered from centuries ago to the present day, as well as the invention of tactics of transgression of the race (the white mask), gender (the cross-dressing of men) and class (the whip of the master in the hands of the slave) of its inhabitants.

From the violence of the colonial times to the current violence of the drug trafficking , the festival of Los Santos inocentes continues to be a ritual of incantation against death; a march and danse of the bodies of the inhabitants who, in the guise of the feast, resist to the different forms of colonisation, invasion and exploitation of their culture and their lands.

The Mapa Teatro collective re-embodies in this performative gesture the memory of its own experience of this celebration, bringing from the Guapi river to the Lake of Zurich some of the traces (musics and sounds, objects and images) that it collected during its visit in 2009 and re-enacting in 2021 the living archive still present in their bodies.

Artistic Team 
Zürcher Theater Spektakel

From August 20 to 23

Zurich, Switzerland