Revolution and Change: Bogotá, Colombia 1995
A programme of Music and Arts exploring the inspirational transformation of Colombia’s ravaged capital in the 1990s
Thursday 30 November 2017, Rough Trade Nottingham 7pm - 12am - Free Entry
FILM: Bogotá Change (Andreas Møl Dalsgaard - Upfront Films) 2009 - Lisboa International Independent Film Festival 2010 Audience Prize, CineEco 2011 Environmental Anthropology Award
7.30pm -8.30pm Clowns instead of traffic police. A vaccine against crime. Weapons melted down to baby cutlery. BOGOTÁ CHANGE is the story of two charismatic mayors, Antanas Mockus and Enrique Peñalosa who, with unorthodox methods, in less than 10 years turned one of the world's most dangerous, violent and corrupt capitals into a peaceful model city populated by caring citizens. With Mockus and Peñalosa and key members of their staff as first hand witnesses, the film uncovers the ideas, philosophies and strategies that underlie the changes in Bogotá and which are now being exported to cities worldwide.
MUSIC 8.30pm - 12am - DJs Ex-Friendly and Joff will be heating up the room with Colombian sounds past and future…Alongside Brazil, Colombia has probably the richest musical heritage in South America. Cumbia has been since the 1940s the most visibly popular form of indigenous music in no small part through the influence of the country’s biggest and important record label Disco Fuentes. However, the country is a big one with many different communities and rhythms. Currulao, the Atlantic coastal sounds of Vallenato, the Africanism of Champeta or the amazing Afro-funk-salsa band Wganda Kenya who took their energy to the wider world. All are ingredients in Colombia’s musical richness. In recent years, the music coming out has looked to the future as much as the past with incredible acts like Bomba Estéreo, UK expat Quantic and his long term residency and love affair with the country (Ondatrópica etc), the Global Bass sound of Ghetto Kumbé, the exhilaratingly wonky Meridian Brothers, Nidia Góngora's melding of traditional and future sounds, Romerayo's cheeky exploration of Colombia's multitude of rhythms and so much more.
When people in English speaking countries think of Colombia, the image in the mind is more often than not of drugs and violence. More specifically the seemingly endless conflict between the narco-traffickers (Pablo Escobar and his murderous ilk), the Marxist terror/freedom fighters group the FARC and the corrupt Colombian government themselves (along with their ‘allies’, the even more murderous right wing paramilitary groups). But this short changes this massively diverse country. The size of Spain and France combined, the country contains some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet with its attendant biodiversity and despite the harsh realities of the many poor, some of the greatest music and cultural exports imaginable. There is so much more than blood and cocaine.
The nation’s capital Bogotá, was regarded as the most desperate and ruined city on Earth in the early 1990s until an eccentric bicycle-riding, public-mooning professor stepped out from the academic ranks and transformed the city and her people.
Antanus Mockus was a University Dean sacked for literally dropping his pants at protesting students (as both a symbol of contempt and submission). Far from ending his story, the stunt and his blunt integrity caught the hopes of the city’s people who elected him Mayor by the largest percentage in Bogotá’s history! An individual outside of the entrenched cronyism of the capital,he somehow renewed the capital, ridding it of the deep corruption and nepotism preventing its progress.
Mockus had an unconventional style (including running around in a Supercitizen costume) and championed odd but stunningly successful morality-based initiatives like personally giving out non-fee-based “red cards” and “white cards” to bad and good drivers, or using mimes in public to display good behaviour (i.e. when to cross the street, respect traffic laws, not littering). He also imposed various behaviour-changing initiatives, including the re-training of the entire police force in conflict resolution; teaching children to report abuse in their homes; and educating inmates in ways to express themselves without violence. In his three years as mayor from 1995 to 1998, Mockus rebuilt Bogota’s economy, drastically reduced corruption, collected taxes in an orderly manner, and even convinced the city’s 55,000 wealthiest residents to give an extra 10 percent of their income to the city. The city still had major problems, but, after Mockus, it had more resources to solve them.
The Revolution and Change series looks at significant dates, events and places in history and presents a snapshot of the music and art connected to these events. The programme includes collaborations from Nottingham and UK based individuals that in some way are trying to create a revolution or change in their field.