Since the 1960s the Picó phenomenon has been growing in Colombia’s northern coast, becoming one of the most distinctive, massive and highly discussed music-related practices in the region. Showing resemblances with the parties held in the context of the Jamaican Soundsystem, the Picó is a gigantic and colourful sound device used in public parties thrown mostly in popular black neighbourhoods in northern cities such as Cartagena and Barranquilla, where very exclusive and hard-to-find African and Caribbean vinyl records are played at very high volumes through its technologically enhanced speakers. The term Picó makes reference as well to the different business ventures that still manage these parties and that began to compete with each other by developing differentiated musical selections and visual aesthetics for their events. Over time, the Picó phenomenon gave way to a music industry of its own, developing itself in a conflicting relationship with urban legal regulations and copyright laws; also, it generated a cult of followers who, on time, began developing local recordings that reflected and even copied these influences. Their style of music ultimately became very popular in Colombia under the name of champeta criolla.
Behold! La Bandida, the first feminist Picó ever, has arrived in Munich and it’s ready to shake the city’s foundation with its sound compositions made of traditional rhythms and the voices of the transformative resistors of dissent who aren’t with us anymore.
COSMICA BANDIDA, the artists' music and sound project activates their newly built "Picó", inspired by these traditional sound systems from the coast of Colombia, where party and death live together in a strange communion. In Colombia, cumbia sings to death. The dead cannot sing, but they can be remembered. Vulnerable dancing bodies confront state violence in a paradisiacal landscape where executioners lurk everywhere.
In Europe, the bodies will dance, they will be unharmed, but at least they will feel the dead around them for a second. The moment the audience takes a step into the street, the dead will be forgotten.
Manuela Illera's sound installation "Transformative Resistors of Dissent" in collaboration with David Blitz resounds with voices and rhythms of resistance inspired by the popular uprising against police violence in Colombia in recent months.