25 October 2012

NEPANTLA: A Visual Odyssey Beyond BORDERS

Flagstaff Photo Center with RAEchel RUNNING  

NEPANTLA: A Visual Odyssey
Dia De Los Muertes  
1st Friday Nov 2 through Nov 28
NEPANTLA-Tierra Entre Medio/Between Worlds, 
explores the cultural and land connection of the Gran Chichimeca, 
the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. 

Beyond the  BORDER:  The Wall.The People.The Land.
Flagstaff Cultural Partners and the Flagstaff Photo Center 

I myself have come to  a crossroads and life changes of living between Mexico and the US these past five years. The are feelings of being caught between worlds. After living in Chihuahua, Mexico I’ve come to see the connections between our countries and the cultures who share the ancient history of the Americas, the edges that separate and connect.  It is tragic and brave, fierce and tender. Borders exist between people and countries but it is also the place where we can unite. It is a place that inspires those of us who look for the light in the shadows. 


My current body of work explores these cultural edges.  I am inspired by the symbol of the T-door bridging the Americas. It is a metaphor along with the plumbed serpent, clouds, maps, cultural icons like the “Sleeping Mexican” and the images made from everyday life like the Mexican bingo game, Loteria.  The past and the present, the elements of duality and cultural identity.  My thoughts are constantly weaving ideas and symbols I’ve seen  from Northern Mexico’s Sierra Madre,  to the awe inspiring history of Teotihuacan to the Colorado Plateau, the mesas and the canyons, pop culture and the Indigenous cultures of the Americas.   

Out of the despair and tragedy there is something beautiful and passionate that is hopeful because what I have learnt from being in my Mexico is not about being afraid but the Spirit of resiliency and courage to dream against the odds.  

When united the magic of  artistic expression  and the  bonds of kinship go beyond borders and the love knows no bounds.  When you love the  land and the people there are ways to transform borders into bridges of understanding. 
Maternity Care  in Copper Canyon, Chihuahua, MEXICO   One Heart World Wide and Ranch Feliz
RANCHO FELIZ & ONE HEART WORLD WIDE Maternity Care Copper Canyon
Cross My Heart  US/MEXICO  Borderlands 

Cross Your Heart...  US/MEXICO  Borderlands  

I have never addressed the disappeared women of Juarez or all those who've died crossing the border or have been sold, traded into the sex trade or work for less than $12 day in factories called maquiladoras. I never made one photograph in five years during the worst of the “drug wars"  that ever addressed the dark shadow of the borderlands. 

I found this bra in the desert when I was out with NO MORE DEATHS a couple years ago. I remember picking it up gingerly. It’s perfect virgin whiteness soiled, stained, pained by the dirt rubbed into it  violently. Forgotten there. Discarded.  Tears welled up right there under the mesquite tree and that harsh sky as I imagined the many faces I’ve seen of a girl or a young woman whose heart carries a dream of America in her tender breast, how it pained me to wondered what happened to her ? She was once someone’s baby girl...

Cross your heart .... the pink crosses of Juarez, mark the hundreds of disparicidos, the disappeared women of the borderlands.    The curve of the earthly form of a newly budding woman, the details of youth, tender flowers are placed across the landscape between two countries  divided by lines on a map. The migration of the ancients and the plight of the immigrants. US policies created these ‘problems’ and yet the birds still migrate and people pray for rain just as they did thousands of years ago and that there is hope like water in the desert. 

It is difficult to admit you have been raped, violated to loved ones and admit to the public - I share this "sketch" in solidarity of the courageous women who speak out and help other women to action- women who take off the blindfolds of justice and helps us SEE the truth. With all these feelings flying around today as a result and writing my artist statements between rants this is my process of how I share the pain and plant a seed of hope for a safer world.

It’s breaks your heart open ; so tragic and yet so beautiful the dreams we hold and  the magic sense of place. It’s the landscape of our human stories etched on ancient stone and graffitied on walls. the ancient heart of America is still beating. If you listen 
in-between the noise you can hear it. If you dream with your eyes open you’ll see it. 

El Hijo Del la Frontera  Y La Nuestra Senora de Agua 

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