Chavezuela: BODIES The Exhibition

August 31, 2010
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You might wonder why I write about this amazing exhibition in something about Venezuela. As you may be aware, BODIES The Exhibition is a travelling exhibition of real human bodies or parts. While in 8th grade, I learnt it had arrived at Venezuela. I’d already seen it thrice in New York, and I was thrilled! I told everyone I could about it. Arranged a school trip as we were studying biology.

Then disaster struck, as out of nowhere it was closed down.

Turns out the people in charge of the exhibition in Venezuela wrote on papers the bodies were made of plastic to hurry up the process. And what do you know? Next day a giant article about this exhibition of REAL human bodies is published. I can understand the anger of the government. But not what they said later.

The President decided to send a forensics team (which I dubbed CSI Caracas) to take samples and see if these actually were real human bodies! First of all, this was a worldwide well known fact. What the hell was the government trying to accomplish by learning something already known? Even worse, taking pieces cost the worldwide exhibition much money, which was a mess up.

What angered me the most, however, was what Chavez said soon. He called it macabre and unethical. I can understand some are against it. Perhaps the bodies are unclaimed. Maybe it insults these dead people. I understand that. But unethical? Macabre? I mean, this is a chance for medical students to learn more, and not rely on heavy imports of Cuban doctors! But, oh no, having bodies with gunshots on the streets of the cities for days, covered by a cloth and rotting away is perfectly ethical and not macabre, right? BODIES presented more of an homage to the human body than the corpses throughout the city.

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