It’s pouring outside now. The air feels fresh but not cold. It’s filled with the smoke coming from the Aztec danza ritual. And the drums are following the rhythm of my beating Corazon. I feel so connected with the world around me. The drums, the dancers, the rain, the luna llena and the love that is surrounding me by my beautiful soul sisters. All of the sudden there is a loud rumble of thunder that falls from the sky. We felt the sound vibrations run through our bodies and the dancers yelled to the skies. And that’s when we knew that we were all meant to be there in those moments. The night ended beautifully.
I’ve had a wonderful time so far with the food, the people and the vibes. I did however encounter moments where I found white people taking up space in a POC space. Firstly, the two white women who dressed up as clowns and put on a show, made me a little uncomfortable because I felt it was a very sacred and spiritual space and I didn’t feel like they fit in. Not only were they taking up physical space but also time.
Secondly, there was a group of high school students who came to the event for their Spanish class. Most of them were white. I was standing next to them and they were being so loud and obnoxious with their rude comments. They were attempting to speak Spanish but they were speaking it very sarcastically. They were also taking up physical space. There were so many of them at the front and in seats when they could have offered the elderly women their seat or even allowed members of the community closer to the front.
Lastly, I was walking away and one of the girls said “adios” with attitude and a strong english accent and very sarcastically. Before I left I let them know that the next time they enter POC spaces, to not take up too much space and to be respectful, know their place as white people.
We’re having this amazing and once in a lifetime opportunity to have Caye, Black Mama, Taki Amaru, and Jeka Libre perform before our eyes. They are rapping and speaking so loudly with words that would otherwise make you feel uncomfortable. They rap about young girls getting raped and molested, they speak about abortions and how disgusting men have been. They are speaking words into existence. Words that have been silenced by men and society and those who constantly tell us to be quiet because we are being “lloranas.” They are empowering us with their words, their pain and their energies.
We are here once again in Quito Ecuador, at the event Feminista Hip Hop/Futurismo Feminista: Encuentro & Dialogo with Cayetana Solano also known as Caye Cayejera and Ana Gabriela Cano also known as Black Mama on stage. They have brought two new guests, Taki Amaru, a Kwicha rapper and Jeka Libre. We have continued the conversations we started in class. One of the things that have stuck me the most since the event started was what Taki has shared with us. “Sumak Kawsay es muy ponderosa…es aprender a vivir en harmonia, con las energias que ni si quiera son solo con nosotros de humanos, es entender que hay energias que bajan des de los cosmos, que asienden de la tierra, y poder vivir con plentitud con eso.”
Sumak Kawsay is very powerful… it’s learning how to live in harmony, with the energies that are beyond human, that come from above and below earth, and being able to live fully with that.