Guest post from Fernanda Siles


While the crew behind spend the day editing and recoding our lovely blog, we have the honour of presenting a report of recent trash activities in Nicaragua! Many thanks to Fernanda Siles for sending us this!

We are a group of Sociology and Social communication students, amateur performers and friends. We picked up trash from the dumpsters of our university and decided to put it back together writing the word globalization with it.

Nicaraguan university trash

Nicaraguan university trash

Twice, first on Saturday April 25 and afterwards on Monday april 27, without any previous notice, we took over one of the halls of our university (Universidad Centroamericana) and performed the next scene:

Two people with masks and Ronald McDonald smiles on their faces directed the movements of four others that carried the trash and picked up some more from the areas near the improvised stage. These four started forming the word globalization with the garbage. Meanwhile, the two dominant figures impeded the students watching the act to walk through the area, trying to establish some interaction with the public without speaking (we try not to speak so that the message is not only taken as we had thought it); they also invited some of them to participate in the writing.

Masked trash people with famous smiles

Masked trash people with famous smiles

Two of the initial four ended up lying on the ground, representing the I’s. Once the word was entirely written down, one of the masked characters started a fight with one of the I’s who opposed resistance not only physically, but also by removing labels of transnational chains from his clothes; he got to free himself from the pressure of the dominants and walked freely around the word starting a conversation with the people around. The ending on Saturday was different because the I instead of immediately starting the dialogue, put a plant in the end of the word.

The reactions were quite different both days. On Saturday, the audience was mainly constituted by people who study Social Sciences, and the dialogue was fluent and extremely refreshing!  The plant also represented an important difference. We tried not to make our message so explicit because what we want is for people to reflect on their own about the issues we are dealing with in our performances; this time, people gave very deep meanings to many our symbols – some of which were not even intentional.

Trash globalization dialouge

Trash globalization dialouge

The discussion revolved around the presence of transnational products in the word, the role our country and other “developing” nations play in the globalization process; our individual roles as consumer and active forces in the building and maintenance of neoliberal globalization; the immense production of trash in a global consumer society; the impact of the production of goods and their later dumping in our environment; human capacity to give another form and meaning to globalization.

On Monday, the discussion was harder to establish; the audience was diverse regarding the area of study, but it was mainly young people watching. The most remarkable response we got was the look on people’s faces when they found out the garbage was found in our university.

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