“How do the living live with the dead? Even before society was dehumanized by capitalism, all the living expected to attain the experience of the dead. This was his ultimate future. By themselves, the living were incomplete. The living and the dead were interdependent. Forever. Only that particular modern form of egoism broke such interdependence. And the results are disastrous for the living, who now think of the dead as the eliminated.”

John Berger left it written in his book With hope between his teeth. And precisely so that those who are no longer with us -at least physically- are not “eliminated” or forgotten, the Jove Muixeranga de València has organized the first Tony García del Río Popular Culture Aplec.

Tony García del Río was a poet and philologist, originally from the Sants neighborhood of Barcelona, ​​who soon moved to the Valencian neighborhood of La Saïdia. He died in 2020 at the age of 31 from pancreatic cancer. He grew up between comics, Doraemon and Rocky movies. He trained in Hispanic Studies at the University of Valencia and began his research career with a pioneering doctoral thesis on the quinqui culture and the representations of social marginality in Spain.

In addition, he was part of the Jove Muixeranga de València. Those who knew him, like Pau Pertegaz, one of the founders of the group, remember him with a smile on his face: “He was an extraordinary colleague, young, brilliant, he always brought positive energy to the group and everyone around him.” “As a muixeranguer he was a model because he always put his breath and energy at the service of the collective. He always wondered how he could improve,” he adds.

The Tony García del Río Popular Culture Aplec will take place on Saturday, May 21, in the neighborhood of La Saïdia, where the philologist grew up. There will be a cercavila through the streets with performances by the Jove Muixeranga de València and ball de bastons by a colla invited from Barcelona, ​​his hometown. The festive day will be completed by a collective meal and music.

To help with the costs of organizing the event, the Jove Muixeranga de València has launched a Verkami that ends this Sunday. Among the rewards planned for the patrons, there are posters of the day made by the artist Elías Taño, the poem book Resistir a les palpentes by Tony García del Río himself, muixeranga workshops and a performance by the group, among others.

From the Jove Muixeranga de València, they highlight that “among all the chances that make a festive act Germanic, perhaps one of the most decisive is being able to summon hearts and bodies, making the party a town and a trench”.

“We wanted to organize an act that brings together the emotional universe of Tony García del Río, with the real and radical sense with which he understood street culture,” they maintain, adding: “We will never forget the blow of death, which permeates a pain impossible to reverse, but we will make pain an act of love, celebration and militancy. A manifestation of collective memory to, above all, not forget”.

Pau Pertegaz points out that the muixeranga “is a place where everyone has a place and a valuable role to achieve a common goal, regardless of their age, sex, race or condition.” “It’s a way of going against the grain of our society,” he observes.

The intention is that the Tony García del Río Popular Culture Aplec will be a first celebration that will have annual continuity in the La Saïdia neighborhood of Valencia.