Saturday, March 01, 2008

Carnavales: a decreed Festival

Since the beginning of the decade, starting a day or two after Christmas and up to the eve of the new year we host for three days the Carnavales culturales de Valparaiso, the largest national state supported popular cultural festival with a designated foreign city as a special guest. Chile is not a country with a real tradition on Carnavales so the original idea for this carnaval came with the goverment cultural officers from Santiago, and after several years in the making still there is a general feeling that most of the management and decision making is still done from the top.... The carnavales have being growing through the years with new activities under its realm to the point that at any given date of the three days of the carnaval there are many more parallel venues that require larger maps (below) with booklet programmes to help the people to find its way through it. As you could imagine logistics have not grown at the same rate so you still see growing pains there too.
But still is the question left..... a decreed festival could have a real long term social attachment to the local community?..... there is an interesting discussion on this subject on the first issue of the DVD magazine videospolarizados. The carnaval is the largest state supported cultural venue in the country.... so what we could do to make this the best carnaval with more and better culture, local participation, and less political bickering?.