FUNDED! This project was successfully funded on 18 August, 2012. Find other projects
- Visual Arts
Just ten years ago, I visited Cuetzalan, Puebla one of Mexico’s 52 Pueblos Magicos nestled in the High Sierras to photograph women weavers and the Feria de Huipil. I was inspired by the work of Mexican dancers in New York and wanted see the same traditions at their site of origin. I visited the homes of women weavers who shared moments of their daily lives in this tropical region, known for rituals, textiles and coffee. Now is the time to share these painterly, transformative images for a wider audience in San Francisco, and show how traditions are kept alive in a modern world, the importance of fair trade, microbusiness, access to land, and the dignity of the human spirit.
I met Maria Esperanza, a member of the Maseualsiauamaej Mosenyolchikauni, Nahuatl for women working together, who invited me into her home, showed her waist loom, and offered the sweetest maracuya fruit from her garden. Her generosity and talent are a reminder of the community ties that bind us together. As artisans Maria and her cohorts weave and embroider textiles to sell in two local markets. The Maseual send their daughters to compete for the Queen of the Huipil in October to honor the goddess of flowers. Named for the Quexqueme woven headdress worn atop their head and embroidered dress, the Feria de Huipil celebrates ancestral and spiritual customs, and women’s creativity in rural regions. After the winning Queen is paraded through Cuetzalan on a regal chair, the Voladores (flyers) climb a tree pole, and then, tied by their ankles jump off as if they were diving backward and soar in mid-air. The death-defying ritual expresses people’s harmony with and respect for the natural and spiritual worlds.
I will scan, print and mount medium format images from Cuetzalan: City of Magic for exhibition at Mama Art Café in San Francisco from September 8 to October 20, 2012. Mama Art Cafe exhibits local and international artists and features fair trade organic coffee. I am requesting $10,000 to print and mount large prints and ship and hang the work for exhibition, and travel to San Francisco. There I will meet with the local community, and scholars and students from the University of San Francisco Center for Latino Studies in the Americas who traveled to Cuetzalan this summer and offer a cross cultural exchange on the intersections of visual representation, historical memory, access to land and resources. If I exceed my goal and make it to $20,000, I will produce a catalog with text in collaboration with the University of San Francisco. Amazingly with your support, if I raise $50,000, I will return to Mexico to reconnect with the people of Cuetzalan, and start a new body of work on communities and the rich cultural and natural resources in the neighboring region of Veracruz. Thank you for your generous support
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