For a few moments, the audience at the Feminista Futurisms Encuentro was unsure of whether the event would get off its feet given the venue’s unreliable sound system and electronic display. Black Mama remarked that if the Afro-Indigenous muxeres were famous rock stars, they would never have to deal with unreliable technology. They would receive the necessary resources and attention.
Despite the circumstances, the muxeres would persist and make the situation work for them. This idea really resonated with me. I thought it was especially relevant to our group’s ofrenda. Sites of environmental exploitation threaten communities, but those communities still find remedies out of the circumstances.
After the event organizers fixed the technology problems, we heard Black Mama, Caye Cayejera, and Taki Amaru perform their music. Though I had seen videos of them perform, I was still surprised and awestruck as I watched their live performances by their talent and passion.
Next, Lanessa and Makayla facilitated a dialogue with Black Mama, Caye Cayejera, Taki Amaru, and Gabriela Sinchy Gomez. Taki Amaru talked about how her Kichwa language was in itself a form of medicine, which reminded me of the theme of my group’s ofrenda. Using her indigenous language despite pressures from society to do otherwise because it’s a healing act reminds me of communities on the borderlands deriving healing from their land rather than allowing it to be exploited for profit.
My group, which included Trish Hoy, Anders Peterson, and Ian Platou, chose to dedicate our altar to sites of environmental degradation and exploitation as a consequence of human actions. Out altar recognized the
My group, which included Trish Hoy, Anders Peterson, and Ian Platou, chose to dedicate our altar to sites of environmental degradation and exploitation as a consequence of human irresponsibility and greed. However, our altar also recognizes those sites of environmental exploitation as sites of healing.
Throughout the quarter, I think my group was not alone in feeling perplexed about how we would complete our final project. The idea of building our own altar seemed so abstract and like a project we were ill-prepared to tackle. However, as I watched our altar come together as we built it from scratch just an hour ago, everything started to click.
The most exciting part of the set-up was playing around with rearranging, adding, and removing objects/images to arrive at our ofrenda as it stands. We experimented with which images best complemented our theme, ultimately arriving at a mix of photographs, drawings, and digital artwork.
While there is no singular definition of what an ofrenda includes, I am impressed by how legit our ofrenda looks.