Every year in the highlands of Guatemala, the town of Sumpango celebrates Day of the Dead by flying kites—massive kites, sometimes 45 feet in diameter, and smaller kites, flown majestically down the side of a mountain. From a distance, the kites appear luminous and blissful, but their radiant colors mask an ominous subtext: The images on the sails depict people in agony and torment, graphically illustrated to allude to the dark and painful history of Guatemala’s 30-year civil war. Placing this tradition in the context of international kite cultures, Scott Skinner, a philanthropist of kiting with the Drachen Foundation in Seattle and co-author of Wings of Resistance, examines the politics and art of the giant kites, and how a festival originally centered on remembering the dead has evolved into a way for an indigenous community to heal itself from the trauma of the war. Presented by Town Hall as part of its Arts & Culture series with University Book Store.
Advance tickets are $5 at www.townhallseattle.org or 888/377-4510 and at the door beginning at 6:30 pm. Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street.
Other Arts & Culture Events
Friday, September 5, 2014, 7:30 – 8:45pm
Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street. $5.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 7:30 – 8:45pm
Great Hall; enter on Eighth Avenue. Free.
Friday, September 19, 2014, 8:00 – 10:00pm
Great Hall; enter on Eighth Avenue. $5-$25.