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  HOME | Bolivia

Exhibition Displays the Truth about Sexual Taboos in Bolivia

LA PAZ – An exhibition in Bolivia currently displays the truth about taboos related to gender and sexuality, in order to create awareness of this reality and demolish the myths that are the basis of discrimination.

The exhibit portrays the taboos related to transsexuality, lesbianism, male and female transvestism, sex in old age and bondage.

No more than five people take part in each scene and the staging ends in a dark room where the last scene is presented while photos are taken of the expressions of people in the audience, whose pictures are then given to them.

The production also makes use of artistic elements like makeup to characterize the participants, something essential for transvestite displays that show how male facial features can be reconfigured into female faces.

The activist transsexual woman Tamara Nuñez del Prado told EFE that a basic equirement for attending the exhibition is “having an open mind,” since each scene seeks to change the viewer’s way of thinking.

For her part, exhibition coordinator Rosario Haquin emphasized to EFE that the presentation seeks to deconstruct “all that is hidden and forbidden” with regard to sex and which give rise to stereotypes that lead to discrimination.

The exhibition begins with the scene of the daily hustle and bustle of a gay couple taking care of their baby girl.

They fell in love and went to Argentina to get married under the protection of the laws of that country, rented a womb to have their baby, then returned to Bolivia to raise a family within their own peculiarities.

Another cubicle, completely adorned with breasts and vaginas, reconstructs the Bible story of the Creation from the lesbian point of view, while seeking to create empathy with the way a woman feels when sexually attracted by another female.

Elsewhere is the transsexual Leoni looking very feminine with her precise makeup and pretty voice.

“A trans isn’t someone born in the wrong body, it’s someone with the power to decide which sexual identity they want,” she said.

One of the most striking scenes in the exhibition represents sadomasochism and bondage, in which a transsexual, a gay and a woman, all dressed in black and wearing masks, show the spiked belts they are forced to wear.

Then comes the exhibit of a transvestite, who says her identity is more artistic than one of real sexual orientation.

All the themes are presented around a medieval scene representing a woman condemned to be burned at the stake and another of a man being hanged, symbols of the origin of the taboos.

The event is being held at the Cinemateca Boliviana in La Paz between Nov. 23-25, its second showing since its premiere three years ago.


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