PENA celebrates 1920 Suffrage Movement

Sergio playing guitar with Daria singing

Sergio playing guitar with Daria singing

BOSTON: Encuentro5’s PENA commemorated and celebrated the 96th Anniversary of the Suffrage Movement of 1920 for Women’s Right to Vote, at 9 Hamilton Place, Boston, on Aug 23, by presenting melodious Spanish songs and an English theatric performance. The play described how the African and colored women were excluded and rejected while the White women demanded the right to vote, and their reactions to suffrage refusal.

The program coordinator, Sergio Reyes, a well-known singer in Boston area, structured the event very meticulously.

Encuentro-5 is popularly known as ‘E5′. It is an event room since 1940 that provides a much-needed venue for cultural and political programming to help attract and inspire new people to this movement. It has been the largest progressive gathering in New England for over a decade. E5 brings together organizations from diverse sectors, fostering an ongoing exchange of skills and experiences.

Sergio Reyes welcomed the audience, singers, artists and performers to the historic event of the evening. He introduced Daria and Tia to the audience as emerging artists of Boston area, who took the floor and rocked the evening with emotional songs written about women’s suffrage. Through these songs women of that time said that women brought all voters into the world; they should get the vote and how it took them 50 long years of struggle to get ratified the suffrage amendment.

A group of young community theater performers namely Pampi, Aparna Das and Neel Agarwal presented a powerful performance that conveyed the message: asking freedom and tools for the empowerment of colored women is not a crime. There is always a struggle between white and colored women for their own space like haves and have-nots. Now, the women are asking earnestly to equate the distance between these groups. They symbolically used two bottles one fully filled with water and other one with one-fourth water and asked audience suggestions about how to have equal water in both these bottles.Their performance was not only educative and thought provoking but also involved audiences’ active participation as well.

Sergio and Neel Agarwal used very artistically both Indian and African beats on Indian Tabla to suit the African dance in the performance. Even though some in the audience did not understand Spanish songs but they felt the emotions of writers through the gestures of the singers. Reyes also gave a wonderful singing performance and he also thanked the audience, and singers and performers for their time and dedication to E5 programs.

Sandra, from E5 prepared delicious food which the audience enjoyed both during and after the program. From the audience, Ms. Christina said, “E5 is a great place that invites intellectually uplifting talks, concerts, and discussions on various topics with like-minded people. It helps us to make our lives and communities better.”

Geetha Patil