Zulu Padilla

Just the Tip and No More and The Savage florescent pussy

I was born in El Bajo Valle, a black neighborhood with sandy streets in Barranquilla, nine months after the last carnival of the 70’s. As a Scorpio baby I saw through my window the African gorilla stalking people in the street, kinky clownish transvestites embracing a doll scandalously attempting to reclaim past child support from the accused fathers, a bunch of howling widows carrying down the street a casket with Joselito, the alpha carnival male, the embodiment of drunkenness and lust. Also I saw when the Caterpillars came bringing the hot pavement and a new setting for the everyday deep-rooted street theater that reaches its Caribbean climax in the four February days of chaos and creation.

Barranquilla, as the capital of the Colombian Caribbean region, is not an average city. As a port where the Magdalena river joins the sea, Barranquilla embraces the traditions of many cultures and fuses them as one identity and this is the reason for her carnival. The power of the black African, the enduring vision of the native South American and the progressive European, this romantic identity, Colombia's Golden Gate, as it is sometimes referred to, brings into being a city where all the values are in trades and comfort is the dynamo that drives the dreams of almost all Barranquilleros almost all the time. Nothing too different from many cities in the world but what makes this scenario sui generis is the cadence of her satirical double-standard secular humor.

La Puntica no ma’, “just the tip”, is the English translation and one of thousands of manifestations that forms La Battalla de Flores (the battle of flowers), the central parade that begins the Saturnalia. Her name embodies the caustic tomfoolery of Barranquilla, which would have many interpretations but the erotic one is preponderant. La Puntica no ma’, the head of the penis, is slang that is used in the final negotiation of an intended sexual encounter to try to convince the person who is hesitant or in doubt. The sexual humor is the charm of “la puntica”, which really means the beginning of all the possibilities including, of course, the tip of the penis and not much more, unless you want….

The puntica, and her ‘punteros’ have been performing the last 14 years in the Batalla de Flores an endless, massive parade in an old industrial area along the Magdalena River. At least 120 people incarnate La Puntica, these are composed of a core group, the queen, the whole puntica, the musicians, the producers. The core group or punteros mayores the ones who are the oldest in the group and make the guidelines, choose a queen and with her create the plot and build the momentum of the idea. The delicious little hole, The Cosmic Cuddle, Love-Love-Love and Stardust are some of the most famous themes in the last years. The whole puntica freely epitomizes the idea; find a place in the plot creating their own costumes. Improvisation and interaction with the public in the parade are consummate to the puntica’s elixir. The only thing that is traditional in La puntica is the music, which is Cumbia and the musicians who are farmers from the towns around the city. Of course everybody makes his or her own public interpretation of the Cumbia dance.

La Puntica is independently financed with a little help from the institution that organizes this fertile chaos that is the Barranquilla Carnival.

Everything starts with la puntica’s facebook group during the year. The whole puntica in a synergic forum about queer angels , trashy provocative costumes or kinky freaks you -tube videos. Getting closer the Carnival the forum becomes a littler more philosophical, contemporary and sophisticated. One month before the final act the queen, at an idiosyncratic party, reads the “bando” or the plot. The following is a translation of the last bando of our biological queen

I Liliana Margarita the first

Born in Santa Marta with “curramba, la bella” in my heart, carnival corner girl , street fighter and with sharp-tongued, by the power of the Momo God, the bull and the HOLY PUNTICA, command and decree: First and only, from now: the chocho, the shell, the conch, the fluorescent pussy, or whatever you call, it’s released! After so many years of playtime, she is reborn to show her power and invites you to open your legs to rejoice and to experience freedom and to shine blazing fire from this dark cave, because she has asked. She, the fluorescent, will save you, YOU, mere mortal, drink my holy water, wipe, heel and kneel before me! From now until Ash Wednesday, no sleep, do what you have to do, enter where you dare, mix all races, all sexes, even those invented. All this

with the help of our big toe and let us go crazy, peeling the skin of our costumes and the characters of our souls .. Long live, long live your trashy power!!! Hold on, cuddle one another, and what comes comes, enjoy carnival!!

Every pussy have her boisterous storm but just the florescent has the power to transform this storm into a lovely falcon. That was me, a Storm-Falcon in the Florencent pussy-power. I don’t remember my first landing in la Puntica, it could have been 8 or 9 years ago. By that time of my life party was synonymous with drugs. I was spinning out my already finished grunge teenage period into electro music and rave in my cultural exile in Bogota, trying to finish my major in photography. Barranrranquilla was an eroding place where art as commodity and status supported has left a very small space for sensible individual manifestations.

Founding La Puntica was like a bee to honey, an ongoing building creative community and a scene. My puntica is all the possibilities full of freedom, solidarity and trustfulness. My puntica believe in pleasure only as shallowness of an endless path of self-discovery and self re-invention. In this journey I have become Cosmological Eye, Green Flash, Blue Supernova and Storm-Falcon; I have seen the star-dust eternal universe in a Sancocho de guandu, the outlandish glint of the big toe sans nail, the blissful stream of many hearts flowing down the Magadalena River; I have felt this rammish Trojan horse just as a little tip and no more.