The British Invasion is back in full force in Mexico City this week, with three concerts from Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters sending Chilango rockeros into a collective frenzy. But beyond the historic implications of Waters’ appearance in the Mexican metropolis, the 70-something Brit has also been making headlines across the country or the brazen political messages he’s brought to the shows.
Waters’ first presentations in the Foro Sol this past Wednesday and Thursday featured the anti-Peña Nieto slogan “Renuncia Ya” as a backdrop; while the iconic pig from the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals flew over the crowd covered in references to the 43 missing students, including “Fue el estado,” “Nos faltan 43,” and “Vivos los queremos.”
To create the inflatable political provocation, Waters brought in the young Mexican artists Héctor “Reez” Ruiz and Triana Parera, who collaborated for the first time after making a name for themselves independently as artists and illustrators. Together the duo followed Waters directive to “pasarse de vergas,” as Ruiz explained it, and scrawled communist and christian symbols alongside the political slogans to replicate the graffitied walls of CDMX’s sprawling cityscape.
Reez is a native of Ciudad Juárez who has designed campaigns for the UN as well as a number of iconic national artists, including Natalia Lafourcade and Hello Seahorse!. His personal work spans diverse themes, but show a sustained fascination for traditional Mexican imagery and provocative political statements.
For her part, Triana Parera takes a more playful, sarcastic approach to her social critique, incorporating animal and insect imagery into her symbolic illustrations of greed, violence, and human fallibility. To date, the 28-year-old’s work has been featured in a number of magazines and cultural publications, but it’s safe to say that Roger Waters’ monumental rock spectacle is the one of the biggest stages she has seen in her young career.
Waters will be following up his two performances at Foro Sol with a highly anticipated free concert at Zócalo on Saturday, where fans can also expect his iconic inflatable pig – whose changing political messages have accompanied countless shows across the world – to make a conspicuous appearance in the symbolic center of Mexican governmental power.