Rafael Lozano-Hemmer on Wed, 2 May 2001 20:55:36 +0200 (CEST)

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((Hola, aqui esta el ultimo placazo de Guillermo Gomez-Pena. El esta
ahorita aca en Montreal pero se va manana a Cuba al Festival Int. de
Teatro. Luego estará en Barcelona del 20 de mayo al 2 de junio y en
las Islas Canarias el 8 de junio. No he visto su nuevo performance
con Juan Ybarra y Michelle Ceballos, pero su trabajo anterior es
formidable. -- Rafael))

From: NAFTAZTC@aol.com
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 10:11:00 EDT

(Those of you interested in crossing the Digital Frontera w/out documents
please circulate this placazo among other artists, thinkers & activists.)

The imaginary effects of a Trans-American free trade zone:
(First in a five-part series)

In Quebec City, Canada, on April 20, the heads of 34 governments of North,
South, Central America, and the Caribbean met in secret with hundreds of
corporations to negotiate the terms for the creation of a Free Trade
Agreement of the Americas(FTAA). Performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña,
speculates about its possible repercussions for "All Things Considered."

Dear listeners, I ask you to close your eyes and imagine a fully globalized
American continent unified by free trade, "global" media, and communication
technologies. It's 2003, the year of the stalking fox according to the Mayan
calendar.This Trans-American free trade zone is controlled by 50
macro-corporations with an executive board made up of faceless officers from
the World Bank, the WTO, the Pan-Asian Community Šand of course, the US
president. "Governments" function as representatives of the executive board,
and politicians as local managers. The official currency is called
Ameri-dollar, and the lingua franca  is "fusion English," spiced with
corporate Spanglish, Frangle and cyber-Esperanto.
           Corporate republics are popping up everywhere in the blink of an
eye. Hong-Kong  has relocated to Baja California to constitute the powerful
Baja-Kong, the world's greatest producer of cyber-porn and tourist kitsch.
The twin cities of San Diego and TJ/Taiwana have united to form The
Mac/quiladora Republic of San Diejuana, the center of an intricate
blackmarket spiderweb. The cities of Los Angeles and Tokyo now share a
corporate government called Japangeles, which oversees all the financial
operations of the Pacific Rim. The old city of San Francisco is now "Chilicon
Valley" a Latino Bohemian "entertainment city" co-produced by Sony-Metreon
and Dreamworks. Curiously the neighbouring Republik of Berkeley is the only
Marxist-Leninist nation left on the globe.
            On the Northern East Coast, things aren't any simpler. The
US-Canandian border is an ever fading memory. All the Caribbean
micro-republics, including Nuyo Rico and Cuba York, have merged to form The
Great Pan-Carib Nation, sponsored by Goya Products and Telemundo.  They
willingly accept refugees from Haiti and Miami.  Florida and Cuba now share a
corporate junta with the cryptic name of "Lenin, Mas Canosa Jr. &
Associates." The motto on their flag reads: "Gambling, Tourism & Erotica will
set us free."
          South of the San Diego-Brownsville canal, the geopolitical changes
triggered by the FTAA sound like a Chicano sci-fi B-movie script. A saber:
The nation/city of Mexico DF(Detritus Defecalis) is presently negotiating its
independence from  Fox Entertainment, a merger of "Jorge Bush, Vincent Fox &
Associates." The Zona Autonomica Zapatista, a division of MARCOS' Oil is
separated from the rest of old Mexico by the Tehuantepec Itsmus canal, which
in 2002 replaced the quaint Panama Canal, remember?.
           As the old nation/states topple by their own weight, and get
instantly re-shaped into hybrid corporate entities, we witness a
logical resurgence
of ultranationalist movements. Quebec, the Labrador Penninsula, Montana,
Texas, the US Southwest, Yucatan, Puerto Rico and all the Indian Nations are
understandably the first ones to secede; followed by Mississippi, Georgia,
Louisiana and Alabama, which comprise a loose coalition of New African
nationalist states. Their new Liberation Armies are in charge of expelling
anyone who is unable to show proof of ethnic origin as far back as 10
generationsŠAtavic fights over matters of nano-sovreignty and bioregional
identity resurface with an uncontrollable passion. These quarrels get
complicated by   obvious disagreements over the exact placement of the new
borders. The balkanization of the Americas poses all kinds of challenges to
our traditional notions of personal and national identity, community and
language. For the moment, everyone seems to be agonizing over the following
question: Which language should we use to communicate our mortal
disagreements? The official "fusion English" as in this radio reportage, or
our lingua mater? (phonetically) Simplement, Je ne sais pas, mom cher
radioescucha. Any suggestions?

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