Students at the ARTEAC art institute in Puebla, Mexico, participate in a workshop/course on "drag queens" on July 29, 2023. EFE/Hilda Rios

“Drag queen” workshop now being offered at Mexican art institute

By Gabriela Garcia Guzman

Students at the ARTEAC art institute in Puebla, Mexico, participate in a workshop/course on "drag queens" on July 29, 2023. EFE/Hilda Rios

Puebla, Mexico, Aug 6 (EFE).- The ARTEAC school of arts considers itself to be the first Mexican institute of higher learning to include a course on “drag queens” in its curriculum.

Students at the ARTEAC art institute in Puebla, Mexico, participate in a workshop/course on "drag queens" on July 29, 2023. EFE/Hilda Rios

The institution in the central state of Puebla now offers a workshop called “Dragstars School” to teach students the basics about putting on makeup, using high-heeled shoes, singing, dancing and creating the drag queen character they want to be.

With the workshop, ARTEAC is seeking to end the taboos and stigmas surrounding drag so that society can view it as an art form and learn about the background of drag characters.

Oslo Queen, a drag queen from Puebla, is in charge of teaching the students – many of whom are evidently aspiring drag queens – how to effectively use makeup as a form of expression.

The artist shared with EFE that one of the most important steps is to help students transform themselves into their drag characters and find the appropriate colors, bases and shadings to create the desired effect with their makeup routines.

“Basically, what they learn is how to change their face. What happens in drag art is that we can find a character which, through makeup, we can make into a totally different personality. That’s why I taught them how to design eyebrows, new eyes, base (and enhance facial) contours,” Oslo Queen said.

The drag star said that it’s important to normalize drag so that it can be a form of education for new generations, so that young people know that this art form has always existed and that it’s also a form of gender expression for anyone who likes and appreciates art.

“We want to continue talking about the issue, to continue bringing it to the table, to continue presenting it and to continue normalizing it because we’ve always demanded only that. They had us in a cave, they had us working in clubs, locked up, and now we can demonstrate that we can be in theaters or in various shows,” he said.

Odalys Hernandez, a 17-year-old student, enrolled in the course because his late grandmother liked the world of drag, taking him to plays, reading magazines and telling stories about this form of artistic expression that was frowned upon in earlier times in Mexican society.

“My grandmother passed away three months ago. That’s why I decided to enter this course and I remember that she said ‘I wish that someone in the family did drag.’ That was my reason for entering the course, to pay tribute to her, because we were very close,” Odalys said.

In honor of his grandmother, Odalys created the drag character he named “Isabella Dimitrescu.”

“I entered this world for me and for her, since she could never be a part of this world because it was frowned upon by everyone,” he said.

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