We chose the first photo as a way to set the scene of the event and to capture the Ofrendas that our entire class contributed to the event. We believed that it showed an important connection of the classroom to real discussions. Our next three photos show the actual conversation flowing between speaker and presenters. We chose these photos because there was such a variety of conversations we created in this space. We had virtual and in person conversation, which allowed people from all locations to have a voice in the discussion. The discussions were also held in both English and Spanish, which made the conversation more inclusive. The fifth photo, which is a picture of Joselin by an information board, was chosen due to the intent to inform younger people about community history. Lastly, we included the photo of Black Mama’s preformance because in this course we have learned that activism does not just come
I interviewed Maylei Blackwell, who is a professor at UCLA for Chicano and Chicana and central American studies. When asked what Plurifeminisms across Abya Yala means to Professor Blackwell, she gave this great response! “I think it’s an important event to be in dialogue with Indigeous and Afro Descendent women across Abya Yala, across what we know as the Americas. I think that the rise of colonialism, and disease, and covid, and ecological destruction kinda shows us that the Western model, or colonial model is in crisis. And women are leading the way to rejuvenate their communities and heal the Earth, so for me this is part of that discussion,” (Maylei Blackwell).
Cristina Burneo Salazar, an Ecuadorian scholar and women’s rights activist, commended the event for providing a designated physical space for these conversations to take place. With so many conversations isolated within academia or within social activist circles, she notes that this event “brings together processes” and pulls those conversations out of isolation. It also provides a space for women across different cultures to come together and “exchange their ways of knowledge” (Burneo Salazar). Overall, Plurifemnisms Across Abya Yala gives a physical reality to the solidarity present within this feminism. All women have a place to discuss all struggles through this event.
Professor Maylei Blackwell is an interdisciplinary scholar activist, oral historian, and author. Towards the end of the inspiring Plurifemisms symposium, Maylei Blackwell discusses Indigenous feminisms and the connection of the body to the land. Blackwell made a very critical comment on the feminist theory of “essentialism” as she discusses the critique that Indigenous feminisms has received as being essentialist. Essentialism is the view that there are inherent natural properties to the female sex, this theory has been denounced by feminists, as it suggests that there are unchangeable qualities to the “female body”. Blackwell states that it is a fact that ALL genders are connected to the land- our source of life and it is critical for us to understand that indigenous feminisms are not rooted in essentialism because all bodies are connected to earth.
Thank you so much to all of the wonderful feministas that joined us for this event!
Ankita Kundu, Joseph Duffy, Theresa Miceli, Isabella Pommier, and Crystal’s ofrenda:The Theft of Life remembering the marginalized people who have experienced forced sterilization by the capitalist, racist, and patriarchal U.S. government. Forced sterilizations are a proponent of the eugenics movement that sought racial “improvement” by “improving” the gene pool by sterilizing those who are deemed “unproductive” and “unuseful” in U.S. capitalist society. Eugenics is a type of scientific racism that had the immoral theory of “racial improvement” and “planned breeding”. Thus, Black, Indigenous, People of color, disabled, and/or lower class peoples were targets of the eugenics movement in the U.S. Specifically targeting Black, Native, and Puerto Rican women.