Déjà vu (Exportando Revolución)   (2016)

Video - 30''

In February 1999, President Hugo Chavez Frias was elected in Venezuela. Immediately after his election, one could have felt the changes that Chavez’s  “Revolution” began to make and how it affected the lives of many. As a seventeen-year-old, walking around the city of Caracas I began to notice the deterioration of the capital city. Taller walls, gates and barbed wire started appearing and the facades of building and homes disappeared. Along with those changes in the landscape, new activities began to appear in the streets. Young teenagers that were unemployed began to beg for money in front cars waiting for the traffic lights to change. They would either perform a dance routine, toss juggle some plastic balls or do fire tricks. After their routine was complete and right before the traffic light change to green, these “street acrobats” would ask the drivers and passengers for money. Due to the high crime in the country, some people would never put their car window down. This became a common occurrence in many traffic lights of the capital. It was mostly associated with the deteriorating economy of the country, and rather than becoming a beautiful attraction it was the personification of what someone would do to survive.

Later in 2002, my family migrated to Trinidad and Tobago to find a more stable life. Fast Forward to 2016, four years after the death of Hugo Chavez and the continuation of the “Revolution” through the newly elected President Nicolas Maduro; as a thirty-two-year-old man walking around the city of Port of Spain, I spotted a Venezuelan dancer in the traffic lights of Independence Square and Wrightson Road. Running away when he heard police sirens. Getting cheered by drivers and passengers, and gathering money at the end of his performance.

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