Kubilai Khan investigations

This creation was run within the perspective of numerous return journeys between the two continents to highlight the different states of our modern society.

« We're walking on a tight rope » Anon

« Mexican Corner » is an incursion into the heart of the violence that is shaking Mexican society. The mapping of an unbelievable violence, an inundation of barbaric acts which reveal the limitless cruelty of murderers and the sinister brutal events that ravage the country. The most prosperous company in Mexico is not listed on the register at the Chamber of Commerce. It is a consortium of drug cartels which inundates the world market with illegal products (from cocaine through heroin to synthetic drugs) and whose revenues have infiltrated 81% of the economic and social fabric of the country. The Mexican cartels are the most powerful ones in the world and fuel an undeclared civil war in Mexico. The areas where the law cannot be upheld are multiplying along the frontier, the toll is high : more than 60,000 people have died since 2006. Murders, mutilations and executions appear on the Internet in a sort of sado-pornographic cyber world. The soul-less criminals show no guilt : for them the bodies of their victims have become a way of sending messages, "narco-messages". The bodies are dismembered and the murderers do not hesitate to cut off their heads. The scenes of Dante-like crimes provoke fear, helplessness and perplexity, and even a certain fascination for this evil. The criminal organisations play with the media and are engaged in a symbolic form of war - revealing the power of the globalisation of images, internet and mobile phones which thus become as important as Kalachnikovs.

Is it possible to eradicate this vicious circle of violence ? Are the cartels mortal in Mexico ? It seems that this drug traffic, a Hydra with a thousand heads, unceasingly generates new leaders. And even if the heads are neutralised, below them lies a structure which continues to thrive. Why does this corruption and impunity survive in a society which openly declares its desire for a "democratic transition" ? Could Mexico be an imitation of a state of law where the frontiers between organised crime and state institutions have ceased to exist? Is it true that the cartels which control the movement of unimaginable quantities of drugs and money have never been as powerful as they are today ? Could Mexico be a "captive" state where the authorities and the business world have been deeply "narco-tized" ? Why has the violence become so extreme? It could be that what is forming here in Mexico is a post-political and post-industrial hotbed as the result of Mafia-like capitalism ? The drug dealers are revealing the cancer that is eating at Mexico : corruption. Can and does the state want to dismantle the network of political protection and the financial structures of the cartels notably by attacking those companies which serve as legal fronts to the laundering of their money ?

Symptomatic of the bridges that exist between the criminals and the elite which explain the ease with which money is laundered : corruption is implanted in the very marrow of the political system in Mexico where the PRI has governed without interruption who finance them n for the past 70 years, thus instigating a system of service to "privileged" clients and the buying of favours. In the state of Mexico, 30% of voters are prepared to sell their votes in exchange for money. The media adapts reality to suit the needs of those politicians who finance them, television news programmes resemble "telenovelas" and organised crime infiltrates government institutions, the police above all (three quarters of local councils in certain states are now completely gangrened by the Mafia). Where are the billions and billions of dirty dollars produced by these criminal societies going ? What are the legal ramifications ? Which company(s) launder their money ?

« Mexican Corner » is a look at the hidden side of globalisation and its criminal tropism. Ciudad Juarez, Culiacan, Monterrey, Chihuahua, Nuevo Laredo, Mazatlan, Acapulco, Veracruz and Cuarnavaca are listed as being among the fifty most violent towns in the world, the main commercial routes taken by the drug traffickers, the golden triangle of drug production. Today the drug cartels operate like multi-national companies with criminal activities diversified beyond the trafficking of drugs and arms into extortion, pirating, the theft of petrol, trading in human beings, prostitution and kidnapping. In Mexico, 90% of criminal acts are not judged. The immunity that accentuates this deadly decline is an aphrodisiac for those criminals.
Mexico has the United States as its neighbour and shares with it the most active commercial frontier in the whole world. It maintains a paradoxical tie, one of both love and hate, which nevertheless does not prevent the American culture from durably impregnating the Mexican society. 3% of goods carried across this frontier are illegal. Invariably drugs move north; arms and money move south. Analysts propose renaming the cartels in accordance with the financial circuits followed ; the Sinaloa - Phoenix - Denver cartels, the Juanez – El passo – Chicago cartels, the Golf - Houston - Atlanta cartels. One of the reasons for this war lies in the addiction of the American society to drugs. With a porous frontier with the United States the destination for drugs and the supplier of arms, Mexico is both under the control of the local cartels and in an economy that is highly dependant on the United States. Despite the fact that this country is today one of the emerging nations in the world, poverty never ceases to spread. More than 35 million Mexicans try to survive on less than 2 dollars a day. One of the advantages of these cartels, as well as the flow of drugs and money, is the impact on the labour market. They employ people in the poorest regions, regions where desperate people either work for them or submit to the violence by constituting the basis of their armed forces. The young who neither work nor study (the "nor - nor") are also exposed to the often forced recruitment of the cartels. This phenomenum has been christened "narco-exploitation". There also exists a new macabre industry developed by the Mexican gangs : the kidnapping of migrants. A disturbing form of trade, where an estimated 20,000 people have been kidnapped. The attacks on the inhabitants of central America who do not have identity papers have been qualified as the "invisible victims" as nobody dares to take legal action. A highly significant fact has been revealed in a report made by Amnesty : 6 out of 10 Central-American women are victim to sexual abuse during their passage through Mexico.

During the residency of "Mexican Corner " in Mexico, numerous interviews and witnessed reports have been recorded and are used in the creation of the sound track, mixed live. People directly concerned and affected by this violence have revealed intimate and precious details of their experiences which enable one to see the cracks in personal and collective lives where Mexican society is being questioned. All these witnessed accounts reveal a desire to break the silence, a huge jump forward where the Mexican society calls for more and more. It no longer accepts the simulation, accepts being hypnotized and fooled by the media. The civil society has unmasked the myth of a democratic transition and refuses to be convinced by these false pretences any longer.
As well as this sound material which we have collected, a very wide and diverse range of personal feelings, the scenes outside were filmed by a very young Mexican film-maker (his first feature film is currently being edited: desert, motorways, landscapes... which will be present in the scenography of Mexican Corner. The show proposes a relationship between close proximity and intimacy, the spectators envelope the four sides of the stage in a form of immersion which accentuates the vulnerability of the bodies and the realities evoked.
Mexican Corner creates, in a transversal manner (sound and visual material recorded in Mexico), a very direct involvement of bodies and human presence, of the dancers, a lonely reality that is beyond normality where life itself is endangered. Certain voices make themselves heard through the cry, Mexico Desperta! (Mexico, wake up!)


Choreography Frank Micheletti, Aladino Rivera Blanca
Dancers Idio Chichava, Frank Micheletti, Aladino Rivera Blanca
Light designer Ivan Mathis
Live music Frank Micheletti
Video Joaquin O. Loustaunau
Video assistant Alado Patlan

Kubilai Khan investigations – Inside the body

Théâtre Paul Eluard de Bezons
CONACULTA/ SEP: Beneficio a Proyectos de Producción Nacional (Mexique)
Centre Chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val‐de-­Marne / Compagnie Käfig dans le cadre de l’Accueil Studio
Centro de las artes de San Luis Potosí
EPRODANZA via A poc A poc
Physical Momentum project
25/3/2015 26, 27, 28 & 29, Salle des Eaux-Vives de l'ADC, Genève
12/3/2015 & 13, Bois de l'Aune, Aix-en-Provence
4/3/2015 & 5, Théâtre de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
14/1/2015 15 & 16, Centre culturel Jean Moulin de Limoges / Itinéraires Chorégraphiques
14/6/2014 Festival June Events / Ateliers de Paris Carolyn Carlson
26/11/2013 Théâtre Paul Eluard, Bezons
19/11/2013 & 20, Première: Théâtre Liberté, Toulon
8/11/2013 public presentation of work in progress, CCN de Créteil
4/11/2013 to 13 nov., Residence au CCN de Créteil
13/9/2013 & 14, Centro de Artes, San Luis de Potosi, Mexico
2/9/2013 to 13, Residence in Mexico , Centro de Artes, San Luis de Potosi
30/8/2013 31 & 1st sept: La Cantera - Mexico
16/8/2013 to 1st sept. : Résidence à la Cantera, Mexique