We have been two days trying to grab attention about a feast that has surprised us in a negative way. The Alcoy Christmas, which has among one of its representative acts the so-called pajes, or patges in Valencian. It is about a massive blackface that insults our entire community.
These personages, surely anonymous, are dedicated to give gifts away, they go up and down stairs, floors, and come into houses. Up here all right, but why the shoe polish?
The issue of traditions is somewhat ticklish, and we can’t hide behind these anachronistic acts, that also displeases a sector of the population.
We are surprised that nobody from the progressist local government sees the untimeliness of that picture in the poster. We are surprised by such short-sightedness. We understand the silence, there is not much to say about the topic.
This offends, it offends a lot. It offends because it stereotypes, falsifies and makes fun of our image, which is not included. We are real people, we are not fantasy characters that can’t be found in the streets of Alcoy and the rest of Spain. We can’t allude the past to avoid changes. We are here and it hurts to see ourselves as a foolery without personality, without aspect, without humanization.
The traditions are volatile and they have to adapt to time. This is vital for our coexistence, where the insults to sectors of the population are driven out. Alcoy can’t be an exception.
Alcoy wants the UNESCO to give to their Christmas the title of Intangible Heritage of Humanity. We don’t think that the massive blackface will help (in countries of our environment it is seen as an atrocity). On our behalf we will send through friendly institutions from an international position, a letter to UNESCO so that they don’t concede that title while the blackface lasts. The pages could go without painting themselves in black so nobody gets offended. We have no faith in anyone retracting. Rather than that we are aware of the tough attacks we will receive for this, so we roll up our sleeves and prepare ourselves for this battle. We would like the representatives of the afrodescendants of the decade to pronounce.
We will say it out loud to make it clear: we black people aren’t fantasy characters. We black people have dignity and we are here to make us hear.
Traducido para Afroféminas por Aminata Gumaneh