Ileana Solis Palma Childhood in an Impoverished Neighborhood

Interviewee: Ileana Solís Palma
Biography: University of Panama Professor, Ileana Solís Palma has spent a lifetime dedicated to using theater as tool for empowerment, voice, preservation, and activism. For decades, she worked to create collaborative community theater projects throughout the country. In 1994, she witnessed Celedonio Molinar dance as Major Devil during carnival in Portobelo and became enchanted. With the help of friend, Portobelo resident, and photographer Sandra Eleta, she asked if she might learn the dance. Molinar agreed to train her. She remains one of a select few women to ever have performed the devil role in Portobelo.
Excerpt Description: In this excerpt, Ileana discusses being raised by a hardworking middle-class mother within the economically impoverished neighborhood of Calidonia and the centrality of art to her personal development.
Entire Interview: Listen to the full interview and read the transcript.
Interviewer: Renee Alexander Craft
Secondary Interviewer: Oronike Odeleye
Date of Interview: Jul-13
Interview Location: Interviewee's home in Panama City, Panama
Interview Transcribed By: Gustavo Esquina
English Translation By: Oronike Odeleye
Ethnoracial Identity Discussed: Afro-Colonial, Afrodescendiente
Cultural Identity: N/A
Location Mentioned: Portobelo, Panama
Congo Spaces:
Congo Characters: N/A
Congo Tradition Mentioned: N/A
Cultural Organization: N/A
Themes Mentioned: Art, Community, Community theater, Women's empowerment
Cultural Festivals: Carnival
People Mentioned: N/A
Time Period Mentioned: 1947-1963
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Timestamp: 00:03:06.6-00:05:28.2

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