This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
The Coronavirus pandemic caused the definitive cancellation of the Fallas de Valencia and after a few days, the piece created by Escif was set on fire in the early morning without any public
The Coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic by the WHO and one of the countries that have been greatly hit by this virus is Spain, to the extent that events like the Fallas de Valencia were permanently canceled.
Moreover, an unprecedented event that no one imagined would cancel one of the most important traditions of Valencia due to a global phenomenon like this. It seems that Açò també passarà was a foreboding title for what was to occur with COVID-19.
Additionally, of the four fallas (faults), the 20-meter main piece created by Escif ceded in flames yesterday morning as light rain came down. Valencians are confined to their homes, so the show was only witnessed by firemen and the police. Meanwhile, the other three figures remain intact, as the festivities and the burning are planned to resume in July.
Escif’s meditator: patience, calm and hope
“The coronavirus crisis is a very difficult global crisis to combat. There is no vaccine against the disease yet and health infrastructures are not enough to tackle the rate of spread. Additionally, it is showing that the only weapons we have to combat this crisis are patience, calm and hope.
We need to slow down society’s movement long enough for the people infected to get over the disease and not continue to spread it. Patience, calm and hope. These are precisely the values conveyed by the great woman meditating in the town hall square. This too will pass.
One of the primary roles of culture is to reinforce the symbolic imaginary of each society. Art has the magical ability to work with the collective subconscious of an entire society. The battle against the Coronavirus is a battle of communication and awareness. The good use of the media and symbols will be crucial to restoring calm.
It is for these reasons that we proposed to keep the great meditator in the square until las Fallas resume. A symbol of patience, calm and hope so necessary these days. Let the whole world rely on Valencia to overcome this crisis. Let us give the world the antidote to overcome this crisis. Patience, calm and hope.
As for the technical aspects derived from making a decision like this, we understand that the costs of disassembling, storing and reassembling the fault would be infinitely higher than the costs, already for a limited time. The structure of this fault is very strong and could easily last six months intact.
The sculpture could occupy traffic space. But we understand that the provision of pedestrianizing the square would go along with this decision. The actual perimeter of the monument could also be delimited with a small fence to facilitate the flow of pedestrians on both sides of the piece. This too shall pass,” said Escif.
Everything is impermanent
He added the following regarding the burning of the piece: “Yesterday the body of the meditator was burned. Many things burned with her. Four tons of wood were burned. A year of intense and wonderful work burned. The very tangible possibility of seeing the figure of the meditator in the square as a historical, universal and revolutionary symbol was also burned. A woman’s body was burned, meditating at the center of a global crisis, at the center of the noise a virus silenced.
This is not the end we expected. Nor the circumstances. The magnitude of this piece will happen again. Maybe another woman, maybe a part of it, maybe just the memory, maybe just her absence. Fortunately, beyond form, her message has transcended. The meditating woman tells us that everything is impermanent.
Nothing is forever. We will overcome the void of these faults (fallas). We will overcome the quarantine. We will overcome this crisis. We will overcome the new world order. We will overcome everything, even life on this material plane. And the world will continue spinning. 360 degrees in 24 hours.
This is not the end. It’s just a fragment of a larger cycle. From this woman’s ashes, flowers will bloom. And little insects will spread their seeds. Seeds of conscience, of peace, of humanity. Seeds of light that will help us face the new world that is rising these days.
Meditation is the exercise of training our consciousness to accept impermanence. Thoughts come and go. Experiences come and go. What is material comes and goes. The day will bring night, which in turn will give rise to the day. Everything is in constant motion. Reality is changing and ephemeral. We’re living in uncertainty, without knowing where this will lead. Let’s hear what this woman meditating tells us. This too shall pass.
In addition, we’re thankful for the great mobilization of support that has spontaneously arisen the last couple of days. The municipal falla is not of the artists’, nor the City Council’s, nor the tourists’. The municipal falla is the people’s and you have made it your own. Thanks again.”
Finally, we’ll have to wait and see how the virus control evolves and whether the organizers of the Fallas de Valencia consider it feasible to postpone the festival for summer or perhaps cancel it.
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)