January 27, 2007

Dragas update

Por: Manuel Clavell Carrasquillo en desvío

cuban drag queenEscribe Manuel Clavell Carrasquillo

Estoy metido en la locura de escribir un libro titulado Dragas: Performeros de género en Puerto Rico, que incluye entrevistas a los principales travestis que se dedican al espectáculo en la isla.

El proyecto nació hace exactamente un año, en enero de 2006, con la intención de que fuesen las dragas las que hablasen de su trabajo y de sus vidas.

Cada entrevista está acompañada de fotografías tiradas por la cámara de David Villafañe, un fotoperiodista excelente que se ha encargado de retratar a cada una de las dragas en situaciones inesperadas para el público y apropiadas de acuerdo con sus señas de identidad.

Las entrevistas están ready y me encuentro en la etapa de las transcripciones. Debo confesar que mi promedio, hasta el momento, son cinco páginas en un periodo de dos horas. Cada casette tiene dos horas de duración, así que la tarea es ardua.

Publicar un libro en Puerto Rico de este tipo requiere la visión correspondiente de un artista gráfico. Me ayuda en esta tarea la diseñadora de revistas de periódicos y artista digital Claudia Robiou, quien ya tiene una idea clara de lo que debemos hacer para que el libro sea legible y atractivo.

Mi investigación incluye visitas constantes a los centros de interpretación, bares y discotecas, en altas horas de la madrugada. Me encanta la noche y sus misterios, así que no representa problema. En el proceso, le he tomado el pulso a la muchedumbre y sus (des)amores con las dragas. Además, he podido observar con detenimiento el abanico de estilos, personalidades, preparaciones y obsesiones del trabajo de cada una y las compañeras suyas que no entrevisto.

Es curioso que, a través de los concursos de belleza, en los que se escogen las nuevas candidatas a las pocas plazas disponibles, haya podido observar los detalles del nacimiento y los primeros pasos de una draga, al tiempo que profundizo en las historias de las mayores y experimentadas.

Pretendo incluir por lo menos una representante de cada escuela de las más reconocidas en la isla, incluyendo a ex-dragas, transexuales-travestí y prostitutas. Aunque se trata de un libro de espectáculos, me parece que estas categorías constituyen los márgenes de la norma y que no incluirlos constituiría una falla ética desde el punto de vista periodístico y académico.

En Dragas, el glamour tiene que ver con el profesionalismo, la competencia, la palabra, el arte cabaretero, las identidades, el género, las calles de la urbe boricua, la costura, la música, la comunidad homosexual, su cultura, las drogas, el periodismo, la historia oral, el maquillaje, la violencia, el dinero, el proceso editorial y publicitario de un objeto bibliográfico, el sexo, mi marido Juan Soto Meléndez, mis amigos y mi familia, tanta gente que me ha ayudado a echar para adelante este proyecto utópico, pero realizable. Contradictorio, por supuesto. Como todo.

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