project image
Emanuel Fantini

first performed on June 06, 2020
Colonia Pantera (La Invasion)
performed once in 2020


Maira Duarte, Neydi Cupil Tun, Daniel Alveal Aravena, María Cruz Velasquez, Rocío Bravo, Ana Lucía Morales Rendón, Lautaro González, Eugenio Casaccia, Emanuel Fantini, Sergio Gaona, and Marc Mosteirin.

New York, NY/Tulum, Mexico


The people of “LA INVASION,” mostly hotel or construction workers, occupy land which they don’t legally own. Daniel Alveal Aravena, a Chilean photographer and resident of Tulum, introduced me to this neighborhood. He had been doing photojournalism on the subject of increased migration of people from Chiapas and Yucatan to the Caribbean coast to find work in the tourism and construction industries. This work is a follow up to our first collaboration, a street performance in “LA INVASION” during which I collected found objects and trash, and built with them a stage to perform a dance.

In April 2020, as the city of Tulum entered a lockdown, almost all workers lost their jobs. Certain groups of locals, including Mexican and foreign residents, organized community kitchens and other ways to help sustain the many families left without an income. While doing photo and video work to raise money for those efforts, Danny met Rosa Tun, resident of “LA INVASION,” and mother of Neydi Guadalupe Cupil Tun.

Neydi is a 19 year old girl of Mayan ancestry. She has cerebral palsy. She uses a wheelchair that’s too big for her and lives with her parents. For three weeks I met daily with Neydi and the other four children of the family. Neydi and I did movement therapy which included Thai massage, mirroring exercises, and floor improvisation. When the other kids joined we did dance warmups all together, and worked on a choreographed dance performance.

We prepared for a “desfile,” a parade around the neighborhood that would culminate our work together. The children gathered certain kinds of trash, and with the help of other artists and community members, we created trash costumes for all children and families. The costumes were made from plastic bottles, caps, labels, pieces of neon fabric, discarded traffic vests, and other objects, all categorized by shape, texture or color.

The trash parade included the children, live musicians and local artists and dancers. The children posed, did their moves, and marched through all of “LA INVASION” as residents came outside to watch and join. We came back to Neydi’s home to inaugurate a cement floor which members of the community had helped build for wheelchair accessibility. There, a final dance by Neydi and family was performed and elotes were served.