Culture for the people!

In Merida we went first in the afternoon to the Plaza Bolivar, in all cities the central square. There is always a church, the largest palace in town, usually the town hall and a statue of Simon Bolivar, sometimes on a horse, sometimes state menny dignified. In the Plaza Bolivar of Merida, a play was performed in the street in the afternoon. About fifty spectators.

Afterwards we stumbled by chance on a Centro de la Cultura during our walk. Terribly ugly from the outside, looks like a parking garage. But inside was awesome! It was still ugly, all concrete, but what excited me was the concept! When I think of the Urania in Berlin or the Gasteig in Munich, I see a lot of culture that is “consumed”: you go and watch or listen to what is offered to you. Here in Merida, it’s a place to actively create culture yourself and everyone can join in! For example, we saw break dancers practicing on the mirror-like plates, and next to them a group of hip hop dancers – they bring their music and equipment and practice there.

Further ahead a group of people was doing some kind of Asian Yoga – Feng-Shui – Ayurweda or what do I know (can you tell I don’t know anything about it?) and on another mezzanine a young woman was teaching three boys Asian martial arts with a bamboo cane. In yet another place, a meter-long scarf hung from the third to the second floor, and acrobatics were performed on it. In the basement, in the “Aisle of Poetry”, there were Litfass columns with poetry, and further back, a workshop where even the traditional Venezuelan devil masks could be made. At the end of the cellar, there was a Bolivarian radio station and free assistance from lawyers for the poor. In addition, free lessons in computer use, a cinema, a theater and concert hall, in which about 80 young people dressed in blue disappeared for a performance a few hours later. Wow! That impressed me!

When we finished the sightseeing tour in the basement, we were locked in, together with a mid-fifties woman. The janitor lets us out again and suddenly the lady is talking wildly to Antonio, a flood of curses and complaints, I can’t take notes that fast! It’s about a local politician who is supposed to show up here in 2 hours and for whom she works and she feels exploited by him and always the whole dirty work and then he is so unreliable, andsoweiterundsofort. After a few minutes the storm is over and she leaves the stunned Antonio standing there.
In the evening we want to go to a bar, but all three bars that have been recommended to us are dark, closed dandruff with super-loud music that already makes your stomach vibrate outside and there is a queue in front of the door. We have no desire for that…