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WSD2017|The Festival of the Living Cultures and the Identitarian Galas
1-9 July.Taipei, Taiwan
An extraordinary festival of performance design, including exhibitions, performances
and diverse events,attracted over 15,000 visitors from 71 countries.


Professional Designers


Mónica Raya

The Festival of the Living Cultures and the Identitarian Galas

Category: Space Design

Design Statement

The Festival of Living Cultures was a socio-political project financed by the Mexican Government to treasure our traditional performing arts. Each event was located in their geographic context and was presented as an Identitarian Gala. Every ‘in-site performance’ consisted of the intervention of a public space, the presence of a big travelling stage and the installation of a small market that displayed outstanding crafts, cooking, and traditional medicine.
This project made me travel through 6 different regions, deal with weather conditions and contact more than 750 indigenous artists and artisans. The task was to design scenographies that incorporated their artistic work and use hand-made, organic or even sacred materials.
The touring stage was also the social scenario for the recognition of Living Human Treasures as an act to safeguard what UNESCO calls Intangible Cultural Heritage.


Mónica Raya

Architect, designer, scenographer, professor and artistic researcher born in Mexico, currently investigating post-feminist, post-humanistic, and post-colonialist ideas in her professional artistic and academic practice.
She graduated as an architect at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1990, and she got her M.F.A at the Yale School of Drama in 1993.
Back in Mexico in 1995, she became a full-time professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and for the next years she worked as a stage, costume and/or lighting designer for more than 120 productions.
For her work as a stage designer, she has been recognized with several awards and distinctions such as two gold medals at World Stage Design events, and two grants from the National System of Art Creators. She has also performed as artistic director, art director and stage director in several performing art projects.
After 25 years of design practice, she began to reflect on the cultural-political purpose of her own artistic experience and found herself a place in the world of artistic research.
She is currently investigating the nature of performing spatialities; either designed for performance arts, predetermined by culture in social landscapes or found in the world by chance. She understands space as a vibrant body of matter, always capable of becoming and incapable of exhaustion. She is currently affected by her own tropical understanding of the work of several postmodern thinkers and she combines the fluid experience of living in Mexico City with the action of writing a dissertation to graduate as a Doctor of Arts in Finland.

Email Address: monicarayame@gmail.com


The Premiere Date of Production 2014-05-30

The Premiere Space of Production Zinacantán, Chiapas

Author N/A

Director/ Choreographer Mónica Raya Mejía

Set Designer Mónica Raya Mejía

Lighting Designer Mónica Raya Mejía

Costume Designer N/A

Sound Designer N/A

Other Creative Collaborator/s Lariza Reyes, Asunción Pineda, Diana Reséndiz