Expropriating the cumbia from the patriarchal lands is not a new thing, the feminist and transfeminist gangs of the southern cone have been doing it with determination. A creative task for to hack those lyrics that were (and are) sentimental education of generations. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge from Laura’s thong to the racist and homophobic lyrics of “Dippy”, an antipolitical cumbia singer and at times close to Mauricio Macri. A few weeks ago it was made available to any party “except Kirchnerism.” Another that takes the push of the rancid advance of the right in the arenas of social media and television shows. The water is still cloudy but cumbia is no longer just about the boys who “mark” the fan with their fingers from the stage. There are camalotes that float in this festive genre and not only with the lyrics: it is the show where fat corporalities, queer queens, girls with football clothing appear dancing and the intervention to make visible problems of the lgtbiq + community and feminisms.
The cumbia villera popularized in the contours of 2001, was a quarry of lyrics that served as input for the street occupation, where changing some words and sustaining the melody became a strategy of creativity and struggle. “How hot, how hot oéo, how hot I have / raise your hand like me / whoever wants a cardboard wine.” An original song by the band Supermerk2 that mutated into the version that played long days of fight for abortion rights, where the wine comes out and the misprostol: “How hot what hot air / how hot I have / raise your hand like me, I want misprostol.”
What does this musical language have? What no longer has a place from a feminist perspective? In 2017, in an interview for this supplement, Tita Print, singer and feminist activist, who learned to play the keytar by watching Pablo Lescano explained it clearly: “Cumbia has that step forward. That is why it is a good thing that this rhythm that, in addition, is so born of the people, accompanies this feminist revolution. Cumbia is to enjoy and accompanies the revolution of enjoyment ”.
“Desire is a bailanta” was the title of one of the last shows by Sudor Marika, a band from “El docke” that has been dragging a fervent audience for 7 years. It was in the southern part of the city of Buenos Aires in a return to the configuration of a closed place and controlled capacity. Also on stage was “Rebelión en la zanja”, a transfeminist cumbia group born in 2017 that sings irreverently to that family that welcomes the feminist “spoilers”: “At the family reunion you always look at me badly / When I talk about feminism you always look at me badly” What do you think? / What do I care about fitting in? I just want a beer and go out to dance / Go to the plaza to fight for legal abortion / With my friends ranching a scab smoking / Spit the heteronorm / Laugh at sin / Kiss my girlfriend and shit on the patriarchy. “
And if desire moves us, how much does cumbia or bailanta move us? You have to see the body and collective shock of these shows where the lyrics do come to change everything. Not always from the substitution of words and melodic support but from an intention to design a musical poetics where the patriarchal structure does not take place between the güiro, the maracas and the keytar. It is an organic of the genre, of what happens on stage and outside of it.
On November 22, the Kumbia Queers shared the stage with Sudor Marika in Tecnópolis, it was within the framework of the festival for pride month: “We didn’t want to make another protest song but a lot is happening” they said from Juana Azurduy to name to Elias Garay, the young Mapuche assassinated with a shot in the head less than a meter away by people in civilian clothes who entered – a police cordon in between – a settlement destined to recover an ancestral territory. Lead bullets. Like the ones that went straight to Lucas González’s head. The transfeminist cumbia scenes sound strong but they don’t let any of them pass. They sang against the easy trigger and in favor of adding one more day to the weekend, in a manifesto / song known as “National Holiday” (of vagrancy). The anti-patriarchal gear is well oiled: in the previous show, Sudor Marika made the audience chant because it was 9 months after Tehuel’s disappearance: “Ole ole ole ola / who are looking / who do not see / we are not all today Tehuel is also missing.”
In another of the stages was Chocolate Remix, a lesbian reggaeton musical project embodied in the Tucuman Romina Bernardo since 2013. This last October she released an album by Goza Records. It is called “Pajuerana” and it comes from that reappropriation of the insult, in this case to refer to the girl who came from the province. The alibi that the dissidents have been using by casting the insult “fucking” “tortillera” “fag” to put up and fight. In the case of Chocolate Remix, he does it in the song “Quien sos”, he uses the tucuman slang answering the insult: Vo ‘what are you talking about’? What did I say? I didn’t even know myself ‘! What did I do to you? Who believed you If I didn’t know ‘what did I put in you!
The Kumbia Queers, who are close to turning 15 years as a tropical punk band, closed the show in Tecnópolis with “Carga” and one more expropriation: “I wanted to make a protest song / But the truth is that I’m up / Forgive me friend if I get upset / But the truth is I’m up today / The thing is not with you, it’s that reality costs me / I feel better when I’m up / I wanted to make a protest song / That’s it, I escabio and the party explodes ”.
From the party, to abortion, free love, the easy trigger, anti-racism, friendship and family, the antipatriarchal cumbia comes for everything. The proposal has been orchestrated for a long time: listen, dance, enjoy, occupy space and make a dancer out of desire.