In unison we walked silently across the stage toward our masks. Following instructions, I picked mine up and examined it before I put it on. Gently caressing the features of my mask’s face, I began to see my faults reflected in the mask. The asymmetrical features and the lack of one true identity plagued the mask I had made, and are issues I’ve inwardly dealt with throughout my life. Gradually, I slipped the mask over my face and allowed my pain to be expressed through my body. Lorena began to shout. She hollered at us to move as the demon behind the mask would: my body stiffened, my chest puffed out, I moved with a giant’s stumble. As my eyes darted around, I saw everyone in my group taking on new personas. Rabbits, foxes, ogres, and monsters all scurried and trampled along the stage unconcerned with what others thought of them. Lorena bellowed for us to elicit the sounds of our masks, and soon shrieks, roars, and clicking came from the group; myself included. Then the stomping began. Lorena began to attack the floor with her feet in a reckless yet distinguishable pattern. As we followed her lead the stage tremored with rage. The auditorium, naturally lit, became dark, as the once retreating clouds had found their way back to CASA, and it began to pour. Thunder rumbled with our feet, as my eyes welled up with tears. It was beautiful.
For more information on the Oaxaca, Mexico Program visit the CGIS website.