"Exhibiting You" - Story

Sons and Daughters in the Ritual of Male Power

By: Mujeres Creando
Submitted: 07/13/2009

The project La Sala Alasitas, meaning "the Winged Theater" in Spanish, held a fair to debut miniature figurines designed by the Bolivian sculptors Silvia Ovando and Cristal Osterman. Funds raised from the sale of these small dolls were invested equally in the Mujeres Creando movement and the cooperative of women who executed the designs; Ovando and Osterman donated their ideas and guidance in the work process.

Some of the dolls depict the current president of Bolivia, Evo "Evito" Morales, carrying a small girl, in reference to his neglected paternal responsibilities.  As a member of Mujeres Creando explained, "Evito [Evo Morales], Che Guevara [a guerrilla and deceased politician], and Hugo Chávez [current president of Venezuela] are all well-known popular figures that have unrecognized [illegitimate] children."

The idea to depict Evito this way came from another project that Mujeres Creando also produces: a radio station. One of the programs involved calling fathers who have denied their paternity or neglected their paternal responsibilities.  Announcers began the show by reading off a list of prominent names over the airwaves. Topping the list was Evo Morales, who has allegedly fathered many recognized and unrecognized children.  Mujeres Creando's native region of Bolivia, "the process of recognizing the paternity of these children is part of the same ritual of male power that hundreds of children in our society have experienced; it is the inspiration for this fair of figurines and so it has become a fair for hope."

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