C&AL: Who is Bartolina Xixa?
Maximiliano Mamani: Bartolina Xixa is my transformative creation. She was born out of a desire to understand the processes I was going through in my life, such as claiming my identity as a homosexual, as a person of diverse gender-affection and of Andean and indigenous ancestral heritage. Dance is a space where we can discuss, reflect and denounce the ways in which we are violated and oppressed through systems that leave us on the shores of reality. Bartolina is a criticism of colonial thought and the colonial construct and matrix that define our reality. Through her I am in an ongoing dialogue with my reality and a form or method for creating art that both departs from and is anchored in our own life experiences.
C&AL: You define Bartolina Xixa as a “diverse drag queen”. What do you mean by that?
MM: The construction of drag is closely connected to western feminine concepts and there is a certain symbol or imagery in drag, which is first shaped in the mind, often derived from virtual platforms or communication media. This doesn’t mean that we are all pursuing the same path. There are other ways of doing drag which transcend other spaces; ways that are are congenital, very personal and rooted in our interiors.