Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gerardo - Miliciano Uniforme

I think Gerardo grounds us in Cuba. We see the uniform. The uniform that signifies the embargo, the distance, the resistance, Castro, the pride of Cuba, the homeland. Patria o muerte! Homeland or death! Most of his family has left to live in other countries - Spain, Mexico and the United States - but he chooses to remain because of he doesn't want to leave his home. He has found his love in Cuba. His community. He doesn't want to leave his homeland to be a stranger. Even in the action of applying for the visa his homeland will reject him. Not giving him rations. It may be too painful for him. He is the embodiment of why it is difficult to leave and what you may be missing. Country. Home.

As performed in the United States for our audiences, I think that can have a startling effect to have him in actual Cuban military gear. There is a physicalization of a human being talking about real life matters. Living life on stage. In uniform. It personalizes the uniform, the conflict between the two nations. Gerardo's language softens they way we look at that country. There is a desire for home, and a knowledge that Cuba is a choice. Family is a choice. People come to the United States because of opportunity. But in making that decision there is a huge divide that they must leap across or bridge.

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