A Prayer for Juarez Art Activism Starts this Week


Not all art is about someone creating an object in passionate solitude, unveiling it at the trendiest gallery and selling it for (what would seem to most) an excessive price. Since 2001, I have been engaged in what I call art activism. Art activism is about pointing out something that is lacking in society in a more amplified way than just one painting or sculpture in a gallery. Perhaps in Picasso’s times his one painting of Guernica created that buzz, but in post modernism, we have to step up our game.

My current project began in the summer of 2009. It is called A Prayer for Juarez. If you feel that you have known and seen works on the murders in Juarez in excess—it has been due to a handful of artists who have vowed not let this art topic disappear until something is resolved for the people of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. It’s not a Mexican-thing, it’s a humanitarian circumstance. When we come together to resist and witness an injustice, we create a dialogue within ourselves to begin to change the world hierarchy on what is valued. We do not have to accept matters, because they are not in our immediate sight. We are the guardians of all that lives on our planet and together have the power to stop any injustices. It begins with being informed.

During the month of March 2010, we will begin this dialogue through new works and voices in this art struggle against injustice. You are invited to attend these powerful exchanges of ideas through art, performance and testimony. Each week (here on LAeastside) look for our posts on A Prayer for Juarez. All events are free, except this Friday’s play (March 5) by Dr. Ana Nogales on human trafficking called “Don’t Call Me Baby”. All events take place in Josefina’s new theater space Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights, 2102 1st Street (corner of St. Louis), except “Don’t Call Me Baby” which is 1 block west at the smaller Casa 0101 Theater. Street parking is free (imagine that, in LA)! Continue reading

The Price of Marijuana


I know that many of us eastsiders have an embedded belief that using marijuana connects us to our ancient sacred roots, much like the spiritual use of cannabis to the Rastafari. A sprig in rubbing alcohol or as a tea, has been a part of our grandmothers’ homeopathic medicine cabinet for many generations. As an artist, I have questioned the culturally profound and the political correct. [Note: Above image is a self-portrait connecting me to María Sabina and Bob Marley through marijuana.]

I feel that my obligation as a human and artist is to speak out on matters that I find unjust, using whatever power I have. Being a Chicana artist, I have used my body of work as a platform for creating exhibits and art that have a social message. I have worked with many other artists around the world to keep the sadistic murdering of young women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico current and on our minds through various artistic campaigns. One of the reasons we have come together as a community in LA to demand righteousness for the people of Juarez is because of our history of resistance to injustice. That’s just the way we have been, since California became part of the United States. It was not by chance that in 2001 Raul Baltazar, Rigo Maldonado, Azul Luna, Erika Elizondo and I were invited by the victim mothers of Juarez to strategize on finding a resolution to these crimes—we were a small group of representatives of the greater Los Angeles consciousness.
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