During my experience here at the Feminista Futurisms: Afro-Indigenous Muxeres in Hip Hop event, there has been so much great discussion on how art is powerful and can be used as the bridge between our reclaiming of indigenous cultures and identities. Something that I’ve noticed throughout my time is how the words and music create movement.
The performers move in a certain way with no conventional structure to their dancing, but more let their music guide their bodies and they allow themselves to respond.
In a similar way, I noticed the same response from the audience. Everyone responds and moves a little differently because they may have a slightly different way of personally connecting; however, the energy and vibe in the encuentro is mutual. When we formed a circle and the performers performed raw without mics, the connection between the performers and audience was evidently heightened. Rather than a performance, it became an experience within a community. This was truly an experience I will never forget!
Throughout the Feminista Futurisms: Afro-Indigenous Muxeres in Hip Hop event, Milvia Pacheo of MÁS, Movimiento Afro Latino Seattle, invited all attendees to participate and contribute to a community painting that has been worked on since Dialogue Más hip hop, más muxeres, mas resistencia on June 1st, 2019.
The intent of the project is to provide an opportunity and space to reflect on the words and ideas that were shared. When interviewing Pacheo, she stressed the importance of how coming together and responding to our experiences has power. The base of the painting is a silhouette of a Black woman to reclaim the bodies of women. Pacheo shared how she specifically used her body as the silhouette and painted spirals around areas in her body where these ideas stirred emotion and created a response. She asked attendees to respond in a similar way and paint or draw on the area of the body that responded and depicts how it felt.
At the moment, there is no name for the project but has the phrase, “Vivas Nos Queremos “ or “We are alive”. This phrase is what drove the process and inspiration for the project.
When observing the piece, I could feel the different emotions and feelings that each person has contributed. There are works that expressed pain, celebration, frustrations, and empowerment. When everything is shown in one piece, it is beautiful. These raw emotions and moments of healing are preserved and accounted for in a way that speaks louder than an academic journal could ever record.
UPDATE: 7:00 PM
I love how attendees of all ages are participating in the project. Personally, I grew up in an environment that taught me from a young age that my body is dangerous and that I must always be modest and cover my skin. I love that children, specifically young girls, are painting around a bare body and having fun. I hope that they continue to gain exposure to become comfortable with their body and to grow up knowing how beautiful their bodies truly are.