Welcome to this transmedia experiment. You will find sounds, images, history, theory, etc. etc. The idea is to break from traditional Euro-centric "art" by creating, displaying, and experiencing work in a more holistic and imaginative way. This is not art. It has nothing to do with buying, selling or collecting. This is ritual and rooted in something more essential, innate. This is a collaborative ceremony to connect, enlighten and inform. This may sound very lofty, ambitious or down-right pretentious but in simpler terms it's work made by many people, many conversations and many visions with the hope that you will engage and collaborate. Even if that means giving your attention for the few minutes it takes to scroll through this paragraph. But ideally you'll find something of interest or inspiration.
Somos de la Misma Madre is an installment of Waterbound, a collaborative transmedia project. There are many manifestations of this ongoing project. It's about gathering the ideas and consciousness of our border community and developing a visual language to articulate our stories. The work is centered around water, the giver of life and the spirit that unites us.
ABOUT THE IMAGE & PROCESS
The image being painted at Neon Desert by Zeque Penya depicts concepts about our relationship to water. From the womb water is a vital source of our life and energy. As one of the collaborators Sandra Iturbe put it: "Blood is life's water." We engage with water as a human right, for rituals, and use it geo-politically. Thinking imaginatively about water illuminates much about ourselves because we literally are mostly water. But we often lose sight of that fundamental truth. The intent of this work is to briefly explore that truth by looking at one microcosm and finding inspiration to react through word, sound and light. This work focuses on two women that share a strong and unique relationship.
Indigenous peoples of the world revere water as the mother element of all creation. Womb water in fetal life gifts us the ability to move and build muscle to sustain our future earthly life. We develop our unique fingerprints by touching the walls of our mother’s womb, the water is the sacred medium between us and her uterus creating those intricate rings. Our hands are basically maps of our first home. Water has a gravitational pull to the moon, making that time before birth heavily influenced by her cycles. It is an honor to witness life in between sacred waters of stem cells and fetal stories. Let’s honor water, in all it’s forms: blood, amniotic fluid, oceans, agua fresca porque sin ella, estamos secos, con sed de vida.
CEMELLI DE AZTLAN
Women are connected to the Moon. Water is connected to the Moon. Our own internal cycles cleanse and renew to create and sustain life. Much like the waters, women offer that to creation. Through our own natural abilities as women, we sculpt the next generation in our wombs. Indigenous communities have historically invested much time and intelligence in tending to women's needs; a multitude of medicines from the earth were used to cure, heal and sooth women- specifically during childbirth. Childbirth was understood as Ceremony. Ritual bathing in herbs and teas were part of that Ceremony. In that era, Midwives were regarded with the highest respect and authority; and Women in general were respected as holders of powers.
Women today are not celebrated for our connection to the Moon and the Waters. We are taught to be ashamed of our cycles. As need to remind ourselves to value our bodies, to value our waters, and to value our earth- because in essence- that is the true trinity that sustains us. Without those ingredients, We have nothing.
I coincidentally sang about our connection to and surviving alongside the moon and the sun. It's all connected. I was thinking about the moon and the ocean tides. I was thinking about the sun and how it picks up the water from the earth, only to drop it back down on us. How we're all from the same water. People easily realize it's the same moon and sun that our ancestors looked up at, worshipped, and relied on. Most people don't stop to think that it's the same water that's always been here.
HAWK: The hawk, is the guardian of the desert sky, reminding us to step back for a broader perspective....It is also there to give us a reminder that we are connected to the animal kingdom and the spirit world.
CRESCENT MOON & HEALING HAND: The moon and the hand are together, mother and child. Life in the womb, the carriers of our traditions.
RIVER: Indigenous people believe that all rivers, oceans, seas, lakes, and bodies of water are all the same body of water. And this water is ancient. The river is chang, it gives us the urgency to live in line with nature, perhaps if we do so future generations of El Pasoans will live with a river of water, instead of the current day grave site.
BORDER MOUNTAINS: The spirit of these grandmothers and grandfathers is ancient they hold our stories and past. The three main mountain ranges of the El Paso Del Norte region create valley where we gather.
We, as indigenous peoples, are not "losing" our languages. They are inside of us. Our language literally made us. We just have to search within ourselves and find where we put it. We cannot be Ojibwe without it and we might not recognize it but it is definitely there or you wouldn't exist. But I believe this to be true for other things as well. In regard to traditions or "growing up traditional" (what does that even mean), our traditions never leave us. Sometimes we just don't recognize them for whatever reason. That could be the way we were raised, colonialism, the education we seek (spiritual, western academic, self-teaching, etc.). But it doesn't mean they aren't there. They made you.
POWER & HEALING
URREA, TERESA (1873–1906). Teresa Urrea (Niña de Cabora, Santa Teresa, Teresita, La Santa), healer and political figure, was born Niña García Noña María Rebecca Chávez on October 15, 1873, in Rancho de Santana, Ocoroni, Sinaloa, Mexico. An old Indian woman named María Sonora, who is said to have been a curandera, taught Teresa about curing various ailments with herbs (see CURANDERISMO). In 1880 Urrea moved his family to Cabora, Sonora, in order to escape political reprisals from the dictator Porfirio Díaz. During her first few months at Cabora, Teresa fell into a cataleptic state that lasted three months and eighteen days. After recovering she began performing healings by laying her hands on the sick and crippled. Word of miraculous cures spread rapidly, and within a short time thousands of pilgrims made the journey to Cabora. Many of those seeking relief for their ailments were poor Indians, and Teresa, who asked no money to perform healings, became a symbol of hope for the downtrodden. Her simple message of justice inspired a series of rebellions in 1891, the best known of which was an uprising of Tarahumara Indians in the village of Tomochi. Although no direct evidence has been uncovered implicating either Teresa or her father in the rebellions, Díaz ordered the two deported in 1892. They lived briefly in Nogales, Arizona, before settling in nearby El Bosque, which became a mecca for thousands seeking cures. Among those who came were also a number of political revolutionaries, and Nogales and El Bosque became centers for forces plotting the overthrow of the Díaz government. In 1895 the family moved again, to Solomonville, Arizona, but remained there only eight months before moving to El Paso, Texas.
There is currently a struggle to save Lincoln Center a center that served Mexican American and African American communities in the heart of El Paso. TXDot plans to demolish this much need cultural gathering place. We ask you to take some time to educate yourself on these events and engage in this cause.