The festival edition of Cosquin 2023made in the Prospero Molina Squarehad the dancers Facundo and Ezequiel Posse as the protagonists of a controversial controversy on social networks, when the brothers, originally from Buenos Aires, kissed in their folkloric presentation at the legendary Cordovan event.
But a precedent of the same tenor occurred at the festival cosquin from last year. The inclusion of the trans folklore singer Ferni de Gyldenfeldt it also represented a challenge to the tradition of the country’s most famous indigenous music festival. “The status quo that only contemplates the identities of men and women was broken, and my presence was disruptive,” the transgender artist declared at the time.
In that remembered edition, the artist presented herself to participate in the Pre-Cosquín and found herself unable to register due to her gender identity and expression. “I remember that Ferni had to resort to INAMU to modify the statutes of the Pre Cosquín Contest, and thus be able to participate. Luckily, there was an immediate response from the Festival and the change was implemented. But it is a long road that has only just begun,” he explained. Jorge Nacer, former organizer of the Cosquín Festival and current producer of the trans artist.
In dialogue with NEWS, Ferni de Gyldenfeldt He reflects and makes his point of view known about the most traditional music scene in the country.
news: How do you assess the repercussions of the Posse brothers’ presentation?
Ferni from Gyldenfeldt: I celebrated, like many people, that finally Cosquín after a number of years could take the step of allowing a male couple. Stand on the festival stage and win recognition. It seems to me a main and primordial step to continue walking towards inclusion, towards freedom, towards equality. If we want there to be transvestites on stage, it seems essential to me that Cosquín allows men to dance together. So I see it as a very important advance. Then the repercussions of many, which are natural things that are going to happen and I experienced this firsthand, which is why I participated in Cosquín. I don’t even read the negative repercussions, just like what happened with the change in the statute and so on. Everything is moving and that is important. We have answers with all kinds of nuances, with a lot of adherence and a lot of reluctance that the new folklore has a hard time thinking about. That’s what it’s all about, these guys took a step towards equality and I celebrate it.
News: Are there perspectives to the diverse gender identities in the folklore environment?
Ferni from Gyldenfeldt: No environment sustains us, we exist without asking permission. That is what it is about, our existence is legitimized by an otherness, which is still the otherness of “pope festival”, and the truth is that we existed long before all this. No folklore environment supports it, if there is someone who supports it, it is the community itself that agrees with the banners that we plant of equality, respect and expansion of rights. No traditional folklorist environment opened the door for us, nor does it open us in a simple way. It’s all very little by little. Just this year we had the support of Claudia Guzmán, “La pirincha”. We did in its emblematic patio that turned twenty years old a totally dissident first moon, three blocks from the prosperous molina. The environment that sustains it is the one that we are going to build, that summons our proposal and our message. It is a new environment, because it is a new scenario, folklore, which is changing. Society is changing and music has to be there to accompany the complex cultural and hereditary processes of a people. That is what this present is about, it is generating a new scenario and a new public that is being born together with us.
News: Is the role of women in folk music being empowered?
Ferni from Gyldenfeldt: This year Cosquín limited himself to complying with the 16 or 18 women’s proposals, which gave him 30 percent of the quota. Many of these women performed compositions by men, that is, by female composers, they were fewer than the number of works that were sung at the festival. Women are subdued in the role of interpreter, but in singing their truths they are less than the percentage. I do believe that the feminist and transfeminist movement has brought a litter of female composers, a new litter of female composers, or rather a visibility of those historical works. This is not accidental, this has to do with the present that gives femininities a legitimate place. This is not the musical environment that empowers the role of women, it is the woman who empowers the role of women as a composer that begins to show itself, nobody invites us to sit at the table.
News: Is there a bet on the part of the organizers of Cosquín to add artists in the field of diversity?
Ferni from Gyldenfeldt: Not at all, I feel that louis barrera and all the people of the production have a very important and very sad human difficulty, to consider dissidents and women as legitimate interpreters of popular music. They tried to get more women into duets or ensembles to hold the quota. Of almost seventy artists, less than twenty were women. Diversities in no way. Little by little we are getting space, we managed to change a statute, then the Cluster to acquire their place on the stage and managed to give a message after their tenacity, their task and their work. I don’t think Cosquín is programming in that sense. On the contrary, I see proposals from people who are sitting down and can’t even sing, leaving aside dissident proposals, not only in terms of generic sex, in the way of thinking and interpreting. We are in a particular moment in which the new that has already been born coexists with the old that does not want to die. We are waging a cultural battle and we are going to force the balance to be on our side. We are knocking on doors, showing that our art has quality, it has cultural power, it has a message, it has beauty and it has a future, in the face of a Cosquín that is already emerging and lacks all of that.