2005

We begin to conduct a yearly Pocha Nostra summer school of radical performance art in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. Artists come from all over the world to collaborate with indigenous Oaxacans working in experimental art forms. We offer two seven-day intensive workshops on "the human body as a site for creation, reinvention, memory and activism." The first workshop is for young artists, and the second for established artists, culminating in a public performance at MACO (Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca). The Pocha summer school becomes an amazing artistic and anthropological experiment in how artists from three generations and many countries, from every imaginable artistic, ethnic and subcultural background, begin to find common ground. Performance becomes the connective tissue and lingua franca for our temporary "glocal" (local/international) community of rebel artists.

Routledge publishes Ethno-Techno: Writings in Performance, Activism and Pedagogy, a collection of writings from 2000-2005. Despite the fact that it may be my best book to date, the price of the book is so high that it does not have the distribution I expect. My literary heart is broken.

As I approach my 50th birthday, my then 83-year-old mother and I collaborate in a performance ritual "to prepare me for the second part of my life." She tenderly washes my body in an old-fashioned bathtub, then dries me with a towel and dresses me up with my father's clothes. The site is the garden of her Mexico City home. The audience is composed of forty relatives and neighbors who were alive and around during my birthday, including my nanny and first friends ever. The next morning my family takes me to the airport and sends me to the next stop in my tour. A film of the ritual bath by filmmaker Gustavo Vázquez is in the works.

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*Radio Free Pocha