Nicaragua’s First Lady and Vice President, Rosario Murillo, writes in her “I am afraid of so much reality” poem about ants being her “worst nightmare”. Stating that these “tiny, small ants” were accusing her of committing some crime. On April 18th Nicaraguan uprising against the Ortega-Murillo regime started, becoming the deadliest conflict to date since the end of the Sandinista Revolution. On April 19th 2018, Murillo referred to all protesters and dissident voices as “tiny and small” just like in her poem she refers to ants. Since then, ants have become a symbol of resilience and resistance.
On July 19th, 2018, the celebrations of the Sandinista Revolution are taking place in Managua, Nicaragua. I’m in San Francisco, USA after leaving my country due to government persecution and direct death threats. That same day I walk from Latino Mission Street to the James Blood building where the Consulate of Nicaragua is located and I release more than 300 ants at the entrance of the building. I walk while names of the murdered citizens since the April 18th (325 at the moment) Nicaraguan uprising interrupt Murillo’s poem.
In this first performance in San Francisco, a red and black queer militant (colors of the historic Sandinista party, hijacked by Ortega-Murillo regime) brings the ants to the Nicaraguan Consulate. In the second performance in Mexico City, a white and blue queer militant (colors of the used by the April 18th uprising and by the historic nationalist conservative colonial Nicaraguan discourse) brings the ants to the Nicaraguan Embassy in Mexico. A side by side video showing both performances can be found here.
Both narratives, red and black with their patriarchal revolution and the blue and white with their colonial and neoliberal politics have erased the history and the resistance of queer bodies systematically. These two actions aim for critical conversations, asking to challenge the foundations of the contemporary Nicaraguan process of liberation.
Photo credits: Devlin Shand – Video: Matti Bautista – Makeup: Casey Trujillo – Special thanks: Santiago Garzon and Coby Zane