Menage à Trade

1994, 24:12 min.
Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Menage à Trade was produced by Mexican-American performance and radio artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña with a number of collaborators, including Betto Arcos, Yareli Arizmendi, Sergio Arau, and Mireille Perron. As described in his own words, in his work in theater and radio, Gómez-Peña often “mixes English and Spanish, fact and fiction, social reality and pop culture, Chicano humor and activist politics...” Menage à Trade does this with slapstick humor and a fast-paced vaudevillian structure. I find the piece inspiring as an approach to political radio art. The content of Menage à Trade is very much a piece of its time in 1994, right when NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, was enacted between Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The content of the piece is, not surprisingly, still relevant today –as I write this in 2019, NAFTA is being renegotiated. Menage à Trade is part of Gómez-Peña’s 1995 audio collection Borderless Radio and was also broadcast on New American Radio. The piece received a 1995 Golden Reel Award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for best radio drama production. - Described by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2019/2020, Karen Werner.