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Photo: Cultura y Patrimonio
The International Festival of Living Arts of Loja is has gone virtual. Photo: Cultura y Patrimonio

Ecuador broadcasts its art to the world during the pandemic

Ecuador's largest Living Arts cultural event will be broadcast on the Internet starting Wednesday, with China as a special guest

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Today begins the largest cultural show in Ecuador, the International Festival of Living Arts of Loja (Fiavl), which will be accessible for a week to all types of international viewers through digital broadcasting on its website. In this context, it seeks to update not only the organizational requirements of pandemics that prevent large concentrations of people, but also the new one-way relationships we've maintained with culture during these confinements. 

The event, with almost 40 shows, features authors from America, Europe and Asia, and China as the special guest with "The Monkey King creates chaos in the heavenly kingdom" and "Concert of the traditional music orchestra." Peru will also play a part with "Retablo sinfónico," Argentina with "Éxodo" and Ecuador with a great variety of shows. 

As already happened in some years, the city of Loja will show off now its best decorations during the celebration. In the balconies hang Lojano emblems on the occasion of the bicentennial of independence, thereby increasing the civic joy the event brings. 

That is why, to compensate for the sanitary restrictions, recording equipment has been moved to different regions of the country such as Loja itself, Pichincha, Guayas, Azuay, Tunguraha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas and Napos, benefiting not only the artists, but also the technical personnel. 

The result is that all 29 projects can be seen online. Twenty-three will be broadcast live and six are multimedia projects, showing that this year's sloganÚ "It's where you are," is much more than a tagline rather a method of redefining "public spaces that allow for the maintenance of ties in the midst of forced confinement," in the words of its director, José Daniel Flores. The rest of the projects will be carried out in their original locations, with bio-security measures and reduced capacity.

The speed with which the virus has forced changes on the festival has been an "enormous challenge" for organizers in a very short time, said acting Ecuadorian Minister of Culture, Angélica Arias, who also had the opportunity to reflect on the life raft that culture has been in 2020. 

"What has art done for us? During the confinement we all took refuge in a book, a film, a song. It was able to get us out of that kind of deep hole we fell into,” she said. 

It is therefore not surprising that "they sought resources to enhance our art and to give a little respite to our artists and cultural managers," especially in economic terms due to the cancellation of bookings and traveling shows. 

Thanks to the titanic effort, for the next seven days, you will be able watch shows in theaters in cities like Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, and Santo Domingo, and connecting with more than 300 artists that transport you to Ecuador and multiple international settings.

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