We’ve officially taken part in the vigil and are currently in the car heading to Davidson, North Carolina, home of Union’s very own Preston Davis. We’ve got several conversations going – one reflecting on symbolism, militarism, and American myths and the other seems to be flowing from the workshop a few of us attended last night on the ordination of women. It’s ridiculously raining outside, but Seth is taking care of business.
The vigil itself was great. A large number of folks showed up, as usual, despite the cold and rainy weather. Tamara sang beautifully on stage, helping with the litany, as thousands stood in solidarity, chanting “Presente” after each victim’s name was read aloud. Though very much a time for mourning, the gathering was also a time to celebrate the resistence so many have taken part in through the years. Perhaps what helped convey this was the role the puppetistas played in the vigil.
The large puppets serve as a creative and engaging image to convey both mourning and celebration. While the litany is read, they lead the folks around the stage, to the gates, in what is pretty much a funeral procession. Once this is done, once the long list of the victim’s names are read, the puppetistas breakout in a drum beat and begin to dance. What was once mourning, what was once death, is suddenly brought to life in celebration of the resistence, solidarity, and community created by such acts. A certain theological concept comes to mind, no? I believe ressurection is the word we’re looking for here.
All in all, another fantastic experience I hope not to have again.
May the people of Latin America continue to experience ressurection. May they continue to join in solidarity with each other and experience life in the midst and face of death as brought upon them by the School of the Americas.