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'Women of Sand: Testimonies of Women in Ciudad Juarez' to be presented at CFAC

March 11, 2010

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A dramatized reading of the play “Mujeres de Arena” (Women of Sand), about the countless women who have been murdered and gone missing in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, will be presented at the Community Folk Art Center, 805 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, on Friday, March 12, at 7 p.m. (performance in Spanish) and Saturday, March 13, at 2 p.m.

Ciudad Juárez, a border city located in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, is known internationally because of the homicides that have put it on the map of injustice and violence against women. Since 1993, hundreds of women, many of them young and poor maquiladora workers, have been brutally murdered or have disappeared.

The play “Mujeres de Arena” written by the Mexican dramaturg Humberto Robles and based on texts by Antonio Cerezo Contreras, Denise Dresser, Malú García Andrade, María Hope, Eugenia Muñoz, Marisela Ortiz and Juan Rios Cantú, is a testimony about the women in Ciudad Juárez.

Robles’ play about the killings in Ciudad Juárez has been presented by groups in many cities in Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Spain, Italy, Uruguay and the United States.

The independent group formed by Beatriz Salcedo, Julie Norman, Zofia Valenzuela, Nelly Martinez, Marie Madero and directed by Rebecca Fuentes is presenting the dramatized reading of the play at the CFAC. “Humberto Robles wrote it with the desire for it to be represented all around the world so that the injustice that is happening in Ciudad Juarez weighs in the consciousness of all humanity,” says Fuentes. ”We want to echo his desire. We want to let the people of Syracuse know what is happening so that we unite our voices and demand justice.”

The playwright, as well as the authors of the texts of the play, have forgone copyrights so that anyone, from a professional theater company to an independent group such as the one formed in Syracuse, will have the opportunity to participate in telling the real stories on which the play is based. The first presentations in Syracuse will take place during the month of March, Women’s Heritage Month, and will continue through the year in places such as the West Side Learning Center and the SUNY College at Oswego.

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