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It’s That Time of Year Again: Farce of July Poised to Speak Truth to Power in the Heart of the Beast

Xican@ Records and Films will host its annual Farce of July on July Fourth, with a message of solidarity against colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism.

Flyer for Farce of July event on July 4. Background is colorful graffiti and a graffiti image of a young Black person with their first raised. Info for the event reads: July 4th, 2021, 3:30pm to 7:30pm. Survivor's Day at the People's Bridge of Truth.

On Sunday, July 4, the People’s Bridge of Truth in Downtown LA will come alive with live music, Danza Azteca, speakers, and vendors in an event known as the Farce of July. This year’s is the 24th annual hosted by Xican@ Records and Films (XRF), an Indigenous-led artists’ collective.

The collective formed in the 1990s, growing out of and in relation to the Zapatistas movement in Central America. According to XRF’s own Yaotl Mazahua, “By ’97, the collective of artists…want[ed] to organize together for a better world against neoliberalism and for humanity.” From this core ideal, the first Farce of July was born, featuring “any kind of art that was speaking truth to power.” Thus began the annual movement, uniting musicians, artists, and filmmakers centered on a message of solidarity against colonialism.

Last year, though, the event looked a bit different, briefly abandoning its decades-old concert format to become a march. 

“Because of COVID-19, we tried to engage and reach out to all people because…colonialism and imperialism and capitalism contribute to our destruction of each other and our inability to relate and…to have a sustainable future for our children on Mother Earth,” Mazahua said. While a primarily Indigenous-led collective, in the middle of last summer’s uprisings, the Farce promoted this message of solidarity, and the movement has grown to include more sectors of BIPOC communities. “That’s a better future for Mother Earth and its people, that’s what we’ve been doing and that’s the Farce of July.”

“We cannot do it alone,” Mazahua states. “Indigenous people can’t do it alone, Black people can’t do it alone, Palestinians can’t do it alone. We need to do it together to fight for a just world. A world where many worlds fit.”

While last year’s departure from the usual concert format was a one-time occasion, there is something new about this year’s Farce that has a unique spin: the concert will be taking place on a footbridge in Downtown LA, strategically located between City Hall and the police department headquarters. Mazahua says “in that way, it’s almost like we’re speaking truth to power in the heart of the beast.”

Between the recent developments of City Council’s unbridled attacks on the unhoused community and the continued violence LAPD unleashes on LA residents daily, the location couldn’t be more significant or timely for the Farce of July. On Sunday, the streets surrounding the city’s two biggest centers of power will echo with a message of solidarity, anti-colonialism, and anti-capitalism, as XRF focuses on featuring “artists that are expressing narratives outside of the dominant one” and “every artist that is about resistance.”

The 24th Annual Farce of July Survivor’s Day will be held from 3:30 to 7:30 PM. It is a free event, and will feature performances and speeches from Jessa Calderon, Sallee Free, JD Wolfrobe, Aztlan Underground, 2020, Colectivo Sabinas, and many more, as well as a screening of Hear the Call. More information about the event can be found on Xican@ Records and Films’ Instagram or on the Facebook event page