Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Carmelita Tropicana

Memories of the Revolution

Memories of the Revolution

Carmelita Tropicana. Memories of the Revolution, 1987.

Carmelita Tropicana in male drag as Pingalito Betancourt from "Memories of the Revolution," co-written and directed by Uzi Parnes. Play with music, film, slides. Photo credit: Dona Ann McAdams. Cast: Carmelita Tropicana, Annie Iobst, Alison Rooney, Maureen Angelos, Kate Stafford, Peggy Healey, Quinn, Lisa Kron, Diane Jeep Ries, Uzi Parnes. In "Memories of the Revolution" Carmelita re-enacts her memoirs as the daughter of the Cuban Revolution (pre-Castro) aided by the Tropicanettes and Pingalito Betancourt, a bus conductor, who acts as narrator giving us his own historical, geographical and cultural perspective of Cuba using a restaurant place mat. Laurie Stone in the "Village Voice" writes about the drag performance in "Memories of the Revolution": “Uzi Parnes guides the performers handily, letting the women playing men exult in the pleasures of cross-dressing, while steering them from the kind of approval-hungry camping that makes drag wearying.” José Esteban Muñoz in his book "Disidentifications, Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics" writes about the use of drag through the character of Pingalito Betancourt: “Carmelita’s drag performance operates on an axis concerned with more than biological or gender difference. In this instance, the drag is calibrated also to represent and parody identities across class, national, and generational lines. Pingalito’s monologue represents a national character that is recognizable as a Cuban form of male jingoism.”


identity, parody, Pingalito Betancourt, Castro, Uzi Parnes, Revolution, Cuba, performance, drag, cross-dressing, gender

Memories of the RevolutionCandelaSingle Wet FemaleCarmelita Tropicana: Your Kunst is Your WaffenWith What Ass Does the Cockroach Sit? Chicas 2000Milk of Amnesia / Leche de Amnesia

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