In this episode we discuss lucha libre, the popular Mexican form of professional wrestling. We are joined by Peatónito, an activist for pedestrians in Mexico City, who uses the persona of a wrestler to create spectacle as activism on the streets, such as jumping in front of cars. We also speak with Heather Levi, an assistant professor of Anthropology at Temple University, who researches professional wrestlers and professional wrestling in Mexico City. We ask: how is lucha a practice of staging contradictions? How does it comment on the political life of the audience, to bring them along to support a “super-hero” type persona? How have politics, performativity, lucha, etc. merged into each other? And also, how can the luchadores personas help to bring attention to, and increase affect and participation around, social issues outside of the arena?
More About Our Guests:
Heather Levi, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Temple
The World of Lucha Libre: Secrets, Revelations, and Mexican National Identity
“Don’t Leave Us in the Hands of Criminals: The Contested Cultural Politics of Lucha Libre.”
Here are some more of the things mentioned in this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:
A very LA take on Lucha – Lucha VaVoom