La voila! Voila la Carmencita!
December 29, 2004 8:10 AM Subscribe
Carmen, ah! souviens-toi du passé! The 233 [mostly] female cigar rollers (las cigarreras) at Seville's Altadis tobacco factory are urgently trying to defend the last remaining trace of the four-hundred-year-old tobacco industry in Seville, which is certain to cease production by 2007. Responsible for manufacturing six million cigarettes a year for Altadis, las cigarreras claim to be "the rightful heirs of the feisty Gypsy heroine" Carmen, idealized in Georges Bizet's 1875 opera of the same name. "Invoking what they see as Carmen's 'independent, unbending' spirit, these contemporary las cigarreras have organized a protest every Wednesday, between shifts, for more than a year to save well-paying local jobs as well as the factory itself, a link to the gritty history that spawned the romantic legends."
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