EDITORIAL BY Amaru Villanueva Rance
We are gradually coming to the unsettling realisation that chickens and eggs are a more powerful symbol for the country and its inner workings than is commonly understood. Encroaching on territory once occupied by the Illimani, monoliths, the coca leaf and cholitas, chickens have been gradually taking over the collective consciousness, as well as the diets of locals. From the erstwhile and fallen-from-grace president Jaime Paz Zamora (otherwise known as ‘el gallo’, or ‘the rooster’), to the juggling feathered family who, dressed as chickens, have been dominating several traffic lights across the city; the extent of this avian invasion is hard to overstate.
Perhaps it all started when our current president proclaimed that eating chicken causes ‘deviations’ and baldness in men. Or maybe these birds have been pecking their way into our subconscious from early childhood, through nursery rhymes and songs such as ‘Los Pollitos’ and ‘La Gallina Turuleca’. There’s no way to know for certain. All we have learned so far is that eggs are getting larger and more nutritious, people are starting to keep hens as house pets, and that rooster-shaped fireworks can be filmed at 60 frames per second to create photoessays which facetiously capture the cruelty inherent in most of our relationships with these feathered reptilian descendants.
Several chickens were severely harmed during the making of this issue, though not necessarily by us (apart from the pyrotechnic rooster).
ARTICLES FROM THIS ISSUE
PHOTOSERIES BY ALEJANDRO LOAYZA AND AMARU VILLANUEVA
23 Jan, 2014 | Claudia Mendez Sanabria, Alexandra Melean
What makes an egg better than another? Don Manuel, who sells criollo eggs in Rodríguez market, tells me that the size of an egg is proportional to the age of the hen; the older she is, the bigger t...
21 Jan, 2014 | Finn O'Neill, Amaru Villanueva Rance
Bolivian Express talks to former President Jaime Paz Zamora to understand what the goalkeeper-turned-deacon-turned-politician got up to after retiring from public life. Former Bolivian Preside...
21 Jan, 2014 | Tom Michael
Bolivian Express talks to Nutritionist Veronica Cortez and Veterinarian Dr. Gina Muñoz Reyes to try and dispel some popular myths about chicken production, and find out what really goes into our food…...
21 Jan, 2014 | Wilmer Machaca
Wilmer Machaca savours some of La Paz’s most traditional market delicacies Cuellitos (Chicken Necks) Doña Wilma has been selling deep-fried chicken necks with potatoes for five years in Villa P...
The Colours of Cruelty
21 Jan, 2014 | Claudia Mendez Sanabria
The most profound minds of all time have felt compassion for animalsFriedrich Nietzsche As a child in the 80’s I used to walk past street fairs lined with splintering old boxes with a chirping medle...