Siren Song: A Battle between $$ and Culture

Siren Queen and Her Court

What’s more valuable: money or culture? Carnival Arts pondered that question with our performance “Siren Song” on November 27, 2016. The Scavenger Queen led her army of skeletons and carrion birds, with their shopping carts overflowing with the discarded treasures of a throwaway consumer society, into a battle against the cultural wealth of Haitian Kongo dancers and drummers and the fierce ancestral power of Brazilian guerreiros. The battle was close, until the Siren Queen and her court descended from the sky and decided the winner. Singing a Cameroonian pop hit in her native Duala, the Siren Queen commanded the youth: “Oh, child, cherish your light. Know your worth!”

Developers built a playground for billionaires on Miami Beach called the Faena District. A single condominium in Faena House sold for $60 million — setting a new record for a “single-family home” in Miami-Dade County. A night at the Faena Hotel at that time cost $750 — roughly a month’s rent in the Liberty City neighborhood.

To inaugurate the Faena District, the developers’ non-profit foundation, Faena Arts, hired Claire Tancons to curate a procession down Collins Avenue. She hired world famous artists like Antoni Miralda, Los Carpinteros, Marinella Senatore, Carlos Betancourt — and us, Carnival Arts!

The whole performance, called Tide by Side, was pretty cool.

On November 27, Carnival Arts culminated 10 years of collaboration among local artists, university students, and children and youth with “Siren Song” — part of the processional performance “Tide by Side” that inaugurated the Faena District.

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