Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bogotá Prison Pageant, Part I

The beauty pageant that takes place in the national women's prison in Bogotá, Colombia is the subject of this week's episode. Steve Cosson spent a month visiting the prison during the lead up to the pageant, working with a group of Colombians, playwright José Rivera, and songwriter/musician Hector Buitrago of the Latin Grammy award winning band Aterciopelados. They interviewed the pageant's contestants, other inmates, and prison staff. In this podcast, you’ll get a chance to hear some of our raw interviews, which were translated into English and performed for the first time at the 92YTribeca in June of this year. Our first interview, performed by Vanessa Aspillaga, is with a woman serving time for being part of one of the various guerilla groups who are part of a long-standing armed conflict with right-wing paramilitaries. Next up is Carolina Ravassa playing an inmate who is incarcerated for her part in an attack on the presidential palace in Bogotá in 2002. The attack didn’t succeed in hitting then President Alvaro Uribe, though one missile overshot the palace and landed in the nearby neighborhood of El Cartucho, killing a number of people. To close this episode, our Associate Artist KJ Sanchez performs an inmate who, while she proclaims her innocence, was convicted of working for the paramilitaries through her political office. These interviews were conducted by Lorena Lopez and Alejandro Jaramillo. Thanks for listening.

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