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Miss Bolivia

- Twisted tropipunk from the back alleys of Buenos Aires

“Argentines have no idea what “queer” means and Europeans have no idea what “cumbia” means,” rapper Ali Gua Gua claimed in an interview with the radio station NPR. We’re not reluctant to say this: Hadn’t Gua and her girlfriends in Kumbia Queers crossed the boundaries for who and what is allowed to be part of the Argentine cumbia scene, their dear friend Paz Ferreyra wouldn’t have made music as Miss Bolivia.

Cumbia has its origin in African slaves’ chained march, and has thus historically been the dance music of the Latin American lower classes, to the extent that it is the dominant musical expression in Buenos Aires’ barrios. But like many other street-wise genres – dancehall, reggaeton and hip hop – cumbia also has a worrisome tendency to act in overwhelmingly chauvinistic ways.

If her artist name – which points to objectivizing beauty pageants – doesn’t give it away, it should be clear that Miss Bolivia has a fight to pick with more than just men of actual power. Regardless of your Spanish skills you can easily hear the aggression in her voice when Ferreyra raps over the elementary two-step of cumbia, just like the slaves must have done during their forced trips to the plantations of Panama and Colombia. To that extent, Miss Bolivia’s music truly deserves to be regarded as that the Kumbia Queers names “tropi punk”.

ID: 20 years 

ZZK Programme:
22:45-23:45 Nicola Cruz
00:00-01:00 Miss Bolivia
01:00-02:00 Chancha Via Circuito
02:00-03:30 El-G

In collaborations with Ministerio de la Cultura de la Nacion Argentina and PR Producciones. Supported by Ministerio de la Cultura de la Nacion Argentina.

Text: Kim Klev

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