¡Viva Pecha Kucha! That’s the title of the next Pecha Kucha in Taos, and this time I’ll be a participant with my friend Teresa Dovalpage. On Feb. 18 we’ll share images and talk about ourselves but mostly about our Los Primos bilingual series for young readers.
What’s the name of our act? Dos Chicas y Los Primos.
The event will celebrate Hispanic art and culture. Here’s how the Pecha Kucha people are pitching it: Celebrando el arte y la cultura de Latinos y Latinas, Taoseños y Taoseñas — and everything Hispanic.
In Pecha Kucha — Japanese for “chit chat” — each presenter has 20 images projected onto a screen and 20 seconds to talk about each one. In all one spends 6 minutes and 40 seconds on stage — not such a frightening amount of time for the performer or audience.
So you have to get right to the point and be entertaining about it.
Let me tell you about our Los Primos (The Cousins) series. The main characters are cousins Diego and Sofia. They’re also neighbors. And after school they go on adventures with their Grandpa Roberto, who likes to tell fanciful stories. I would categorize the series as magical realism.
In the first book, the cousins and Grandpa catch a magic fish that grants them a wish for letting him go. In the end they choose the wisest wish.
The second book features an invisible dog — inspired by Teresa’s very visible pet Maxx — and in the third, Grandpa comes to the cousins’ school as a one-man band.
I write the books and Teresa tells them in Spanish. (She’s a professor and author of books in English and Spanish.)
Here’s an older post on the topic. https://www.joanlivingston.net/writing/writing-in-two-languages/
The books are for young readers whose first language is either Spanish or English — although I believe they’d be a fun read for others. They come with illustrations by my artist son Ezra Livingston.
We are working on ways to get these books into the hands of readers.
As for ¡Viva Pecha Kucha! Teresa and I have been planning ever since we got the green light to participate. We came up with a list of images we thought we’d need. Teresa and Katharine Egli, The Taos New photographer, shot several. We’re using Ezra’s illustrations among other images.
Musician son Nate Livingston composed a 20-second tune for our one-man band/el hombre orquesta segment. Here it is.
Yesterday, Teresa and I got together to put the images in order. We start with photos of ourselves when we were little girls.
Teresa, who grew up in Cuba, is reading a book. She’s about nine.
I chose one of me wearing a costume. I’m about five and my last name then was Medeiros, a good Portuguese name.
On Saturday, we practiced talking about each image for 20 seconds, using the timer on my phone. We decided Teresa will speak in Spanish and I will use English to make it truly a bilingual performance. ¡Orale!
ABOUT THE IMAGE ABOVE: Los Primos Diego and Sofia by Ezra Livingston.