SURVIVAL POETRY: THIS IS OUR LOST DANCE
This is a visual essay inspired by my month-long experience living through the coronavirus pandemic in Ecuador.
Being far away from my immediate family, losing my dad, taking care of my grieving mom –from a distance- and at the same time, dealing with mounting anxiety and borderline depression, might sound like it's too much to handle. Surely it is.
As an artist/designer/writer operating hundreds of kilometers away from so-called “art hot-spots”, I’m not even remotely disturbed by the shutting down of galleries, cancelled fairs or fractured networks all around the world. My city, Guayaquil, the economic motor of the country, is home to two galleries, one contemporary art museum which is of no use and zero printed publications or journals.
I must take care of my physical and mental health, but the well-being of our cultural industry?
No worries: it's been hanging forever in the ICU.
Nostalgia is a ghost you don't want to shake hands with while on lockdown. A few days ago, I sat down and created a massive playlist on Spotify celebrating my dad to the rhythm of his all time faves. Almost three hours of disco and adult contemporary hits are too much for my reggaeton and salsa laced heart. Cannot lie though: well into the climax of Under Pressure, the Queen/Bowie paranoia-ridden hit, I started to understand how it feels to be broken into a thousand pieces. I felt like I couldn't take it anymore. Us. I still do.
This morning, I found myself dancing in the bathroom. So who knows. I might have lost a partner, but, as I discovered many nights ago, the dance floor dies only when you decide to.