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Venezuela: Childhood, Dance, Folklore… and Propaganda

Through her public Facebook photo album titled “Venezuela dances to the tune of…”, Carmen Helena González shared pictures of a dance rehearsal in Margarita Island. All the pictures are available here [es] and are accompanied by reflections questioning the presence of political propaganda in an educational setting. As an introduction to the album we find the following comment:

Sentimientos encontrados esta tarde al asistir a este ensayo de danza de un grupo de niñas margariteñas. La belleza de sus caras, la luz de esta tarde y algo que bailaba en el ambiente chocaban con el contexto adoctrinante…

Mixed feelings this afternoon when I went to the rehearsal of a little girl's dance group from Margarita. The beauty of their faces, the light of the afternoon and something that danced around the atmosphere clashed with the indoctrinating context…

Much has been discussed about political and ideological propaganda during the government of President Hugo Chavez. For many, these years represent the entry of Venezuela into a new phase in which its history must be rethought and disseminated. For others, these changes are ideological impositions touching sensitive areas such as education and public administration.

The following pictures were taken during a free dance class in the “Alí Primera” library and illustrate part of the context of this debate:

Folk dance rehearsal. Photo by Carmen Helena Gonzalez, used with permission.

Facade of library "Alí Primera". Writing on wall: "With the revolution, Bolivar lives!" Photo by Carmen Helena Gonzalez, used with permission.

Photo by Carmen Helena Gonzalez, used with permission.

A collection of cuatros (a typical Venezuelan instrument) with images of some of the most important icons of the Bolivarian Revolution: Alí Primera, Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Karl Marx, among others. Photo by Carmen Helena Gonzalez, used with permission.

Folk dance rehearsal. Photo by Carmen Helena Gonzalez, used with permission.

Folk dance rehearsal. Photo by Carmen Helena Gonzalez, used with permission.

Posters of recent election campaigns and political messages supporting the Bolivarian Revolution. Photo by Carmen Helena Gonzalez, used with permission.

Folk dance rehearsal. Photo by Carmen Helena Gonzalez, used with permission.

 

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