Yesterday I was at the 4th yearly carnival in Nicaragua, “Alegría por la vida!” was it’s catchy slogan that the MC was screaming through the microphone more than often, Joy for life.
In proper Rio de Janeiro style, dancers from different dance groups, cultural associations and districts of Nicaragua showed off their tranditional dances, glittery little outfits and, strangely, a lot of coloured contact lenses. The athmosphere was great, the audience was cheering and clapping, and the dancers seemed to enjoy despite those sky-high heels. To my surprise, about half of the artists were actually men in women’s outfits with full-on make up and often socks for breasts, and I was very schocked when the group from the Caribbean coast didn’t only do their traditional “African dance” with an extemely sexist touch, but also had a sequence where an old man screams and bites the shell of a coconut off with his teeth, cracks the coconut open against the ground and eats it like a wild beast before pouring the coconut water over himself and throwing the rest at the audience..
But apart from what I think of these kind of extremely objectifying events, children in high heels, and rather disgusting reinforcements of old stereotypes, I was having a really good time.
The whole event is run by the government and was supported by hundreds of youth from the political movement Juventud Sandinista. They were responsible for keeping people off the main street where the dancers were passing and basically wanted me to take their picture all the time, awesomely, I got access to walk into the street and get very close to the dancers instead of in the seats of spectators or behind the row of people.
So, here’s what I got: