Peru: Understanding the Emo Youth in Lima

Similar to the recent post about the incidents of attacks on emo youth in Mexico, there has also been much written about these youth in Peru. There was a recent controversy in Lima and some Peruvian bloggers provide their thoughts on these often misunderstood youth, as defined by Wikipedia. The local media has played a part in devoting more airtime at trying to understand, but more often, and to make fun of these youth.



Photo by Amy Wong and used under a Creative Commons license.

About a month ago, on the local television program Close Enemies, there was a program dedicated to emos, which ridiculed and treated them poorly. The blog Descarga Directa [es] published a video, which showed part of the program, on his post “Emos on the television: Noooo!! [es]” However, what had added to the controversy was the discovery that part of the program was made with emos especially created for the occasion. This is what El Blog de Cayo [es] said on his post “False Panelists… False Emos [es]“:

Hace unos días, Beto Ortiz y Aldo Miyashiro presentaron un panel de emos en su programa nocturno … Pese a que este es un blog abiertamente anti-emo, nos parece que Beto Ortiz y sus compinches son definitivamente más asquerosos e impresentables. En su programa, presentaron algunos emos reales, asiduos de las galerías Brasil, vendedores de ropa y pines para pastrulitas de la PUCP que se sienten abiertamente diferentes. Sin embargo, también presentaron pastrulitas de la PUCP que no eran EMO, pero que se vestían y supuestamente “actuaban” como tales. Estos falsos emo no solo no eran emo, sino que también eran miembros del taller de teatro de Aldo Miyashiro.

A few days ago, Beto Ortiz and Aldo Miyashiro presented a panel of emos on their nightly program…Even though this blog is openly anti-emo, we believe that Beto Ortiz and his pals are definitely more disgusting and unpresentable. In his program, they presented some real emos, regular visitors to the Brasil galleries, clothes vendors and hipster girls from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) that openly feel different. However, they also presented some hipster girls from the PUCP that were not EMO, but they dressed and supposedly “acted” like ones. These false emos not only were not emos, but they were members of Aldo Miyashiro's theater troupe.

Mouse of Pueblo Vruto [es] on his post “Emo Enemies [es]” provides basically the same opinion, but reflects on what this means for local television:

Tal como muchos lo notaron oportunamente, los “Enemigos Íntimos” dedicaron un programa no para conocer a los Emo (que personalmente no me caen bien) sino para burlarse de ellos. Pero, al estilo de la señora Bozzo, resultó que recurrieron al montaje y al engaño. ¿Tan desesperado estaba Aldo Miyashiro por que encajen sus chistes? El montaje de falsos casos es una práctica muy arraigada en la producción televisiva, como que la mímesis y sus tensiones con la realidad son su razón de ser. El asunto es que Ortiz y Miyashiro no necesitaban de falsos panelistas para hacer lo suyo. De nuevo tenemos que preguntarnos cual es el verdadero problema de nuestra producción nacional: ¿economía o falta de creatividad?

Just as many have noted, the people from “Close Enemies” dedicated a program, not to get to know the emos (who personally I am not fond of), but to make fun of them. In the style of Mrs. Bozzo, it turned out that they resorted to a sketch and to foolery. Is Aldo Miyashiro so desperate to insert his jokes? The sketch of false cases is a practice very deep-rooted in the television production, just as the MIMESIS and her tensions with the reality for her reason of being. The issue is that Ortiz and Miyashiro did not need false panelists to do what they wanted. Now we have to ask ourselves what is our real problem on national production, economic or the lack of creativity?

In spite of everything, emos are not very common in Lima, and it may be more of a question of fashion than of actually being emo. Marco of Andando Sin Caminos [es] wonders whether these youth are just “poseurs”, and writes about them and references some explanative videos:

Lo cierto, es que yo no conocía de esta extraña especie viviente, sino hasta que fui un día al Centro Cultural España, que se encuentra ubicado en Lima, y me detuve a observar el parque de enfrente. Me llamó la atención, en primer lugar ver a tanto “chibolo” vestido de forma extraña, entre una mezcla de ropa negra punk, mezclados con un rosado chillón, y con peinado de personaje de anime japonés. A simple vista, se les nota indefensos, por lo delgados que son, y por lo niños en su aspecto. Y al parecer si son indefensos, porque un amigo me cuenta, que ha visto a muchos de ellos ser golpeados por su apariencia, por pandilleros y por punks que circulan cerca del Centro Cultural España.

It is true that I was not familiar with such a strange living species until I went to the Spanish Cultural Center, which is located in Lima and I stopped to observe a park located in front of the center. It attracted my attention, in the first place, to see so many youth dressed in a strange manner, somewhere between black punk clothing, mixed with a bright pink, and with a haircut of a character of Japanese anime. Upon first glance, they appeared to be defenseless for how skinny they are and for looking childlike. And they are defenseless because a friend told me that he had seen many of them beaten by gangs and by punks that hang out around the Spanish Cultural Center for their appearance.

Julio César of Explorando en Mi [es] writes about his experiences with the emo youth:

En todas las calles de lima podemos ver a jóvenes que pintan sus ojos de negro (en algunos casos rozados y se ponen gotas de agua para parecer estar llorando) usan zapatitos de cuadros, pantalones y polos pegados. Pero 5 de cada 10 no saben por que se visten así y asta saben que se visten como emos pero no saben que es emo y eso yo lo eh verificado personalmente en varios lugares. … Se que hay muchos punk que desearían golpear a cualquier emo que este caminando por la calle, si quieres hazlo, pero recuerda que tu también tienes problemas y que también eres hijo del rock al igual que ellos y que también te desfogas al escuchar tus canciones, entendamos y respetemos su forma de pensar. Y esto es todo lo que tengo que decir de los emos.

In all of the streets of Lima, we can see teenagers who paint their put on black eyeliner (in some cases pink and they put water drops in their eyes to look like they have been crying), use square shoes, pants and tight polo shirts. But 5 out of every 10 do not know why they dress that way, and they know they dress like emos, but they don't know what emo is and that is something I have personally verified in several places… I know that there are many punks, who would like to hit any emo that they see walking down the street, you can if you want, but remember that you also have probems and that like them, you are also the son of rock, who vent when you listen to your songs, we understand and respect your way of thinking. This is everything that I have to say about the emos.

Other posts related to this topic include the post New Waves and Youth in Conflict [es] written by Dego in his blog Nadie Lee Lo Que Escribo [es], which is not specifically about emos, but places the rest of the groups (punks, metalheads, etc.) in context and attempts to explain about some of the conflict among them.

Translated by Eduardo Ávila


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