In the Summer of 2013 I was invited to be a part of an exhibition called “El Norte” at the Anthropology Museum in Xalapa, Mexico. I was honored and, of coarse, more then happy to contribute. What follows is, my contribution for the exhibition. I offer it to you here in the raw, if you will, as well as, the image that wasn’t chosen for presentation. Please enjoy. (My contribution was part of the live exhibition only. It is not a part of the online version.)
Resources! Resources are nothing to sneeze at. I’m not sure what your piece is looking for since I was not clear on its intended context or audience pero … Alice Voy-.
My personal experience as an American woman of Mexican parents is extraordinary because during my infancy I was “mothered” by my Father (a very unique and uncommon phenomena). Our very common circumstances made this possible. My mother was undocumented at the time of my birth. A fact that also resulted in my Cerebral Palsy. After giving birth to me, my mother and two sisters were picked up by INS the next day, and taken back to Mexico for the duration of my primary infancy. Leaving my documented father to care for myself and my eldest brother both of us born US citizens. My being disabled some what distinguishes me from the masses because everything about my experience is marked by it.
So anyway right from the start you could say that my life experience has been marked by tragedy. You could say that. Though I know that is not so. My parents both braved the unknown in search of something better because they knew that their homeland was not enough. By better I mean in search of resources. I come from rather adventurous stalk. Both my parents in their own ways were outcast perhaps by default. Though as a result of being outcast they developed a truly American trait, which is that they are both authentically and unwaveringly individualistic. Neither of them ever concerned themselves with “keeping up with the Joneses”. Daily living was more then enough to keep up with as far as they were concerned. Even so, there was an invisible cloud of shame, a general unspoken atmosphere, a subliminal anxiety a sense of not quite “fitting in” of being different, inherently clandestine, that loomed over every day life. It’s an atmosphere that lends itself to fostering an “us against them” attitude, mentality, or perspective.
One that served me well for a time until I came to understand that there is no them or even us, in the end it all boils down to “I” and what “I” is willing to do and what “I” is capable of doing in regards to the responsibilities that must be contended with as global inhabitants.
It is not accurate for me to relate my life experiences simply in terms of shortcomings on cultural, social, or economic strata either on a small or large scale that is too easy and pointless. As I see it the point is humanity. If my life experience has taught me anything it is the value of being humane. The greatest “resource” my parents quest for “better” has given me is the opportunity to experience genuine humanity, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.