In Latin America, populations which were under the threat of a plague, would make bundles out of straw, sticks as well as clothes belonging to their dead relatives. They would then burn them on the street on the last day of the year, thus, chasing the plague and disillusionment away.
Today, this ancient tradition of pagan origin, called “El Año Viejo” (the “Old Year”), consists of the making of a rag doll dressed in the old clothes of whoever makes it; it is stuffed with paper, sawdust or any other flammable element, and then burned at midnight of the last day of the year. The rag doll represents the past and through the burning and the purification which the fire induces you start a new cycle, leaving behind the things in life you wish to let go of. In some places, also a list of things you want to abandon, leave behind or forget is being written and then put inside one of the rag doll’s pockets before burning it.
After a year of pandemic and global confinement, we invite you to elaborate and burn your personal or collective “Old Year”(Rag Doll 2020), and to write a list of all you do not wish to repeat next year.
1. Pick a personal garment that grew old with you this year.
2. Ask other people (your family or neighbors) for other clothing items –
until you complete an outfit.
3. Make a rag doll out of all the garments that you collected.
4. Fill it with things that will give it mass and will allow it to burn easily
(newspapers, more old clothes, straw, foam, etc.)
5. Make a list of all the things from 2020 that you would like to get rid of and also place it inside the rag doll.
6. Find a public place / a space where you can burn the rag doll safely.
7. Burn your 2020 rag doll at midnight, before January 1, 2021.
8. Take a photo of your rag doll once before and another one while it is burning.
Share them by sending them to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Photos will be received until January 31, 2021.
The photos we receive will be published on the Mapa Teatro website.