“Nde Rendape aju”| Letter to my future self

To Pat,

“Quiero ser el dueño de mis sueños y caminar seguro por un suelo, donde mis huellas duren. Quiero escuchar las voces de la Floresta y encontrar en sus heridas una esperanza acompañada de otra, y de otra. Quiero encontrar momentos quietos donde el viento sople y el sol caliente, donde el dolor de la raza y tu indiferencia sean ajenas y solas. Quiero saber tu nombre, che Sy, y guardarlo en el medio de una historia que se escriba desde siempre, recordando tus memorias. Quiero luz, agua, vida, paz, amor, alegria, una tierra donde ser para mis hijos. Una tierra donde la mirada opresora, racista, discriminadora se confunda y se pierda en el cambio, en un acto, en donde el pueblo resurja y desentierre  la verdad de tus historias.”

“I want to be the owner of my dreams and walk on a soil where my footprints matter. I want to hear the voices of the Forest and find in its wounds a bit of hope. I want to find quiet moments where the wind blows as the sun warms, where the pain of racism and its indifference can be alien and alone. I want to know your name, mother Earth, and keep it in the middle of a history, that can write itself forever, remembering your stories, reckoning your memories. I want light, water, life, peace, love, joy, an earth for my children. An earth for being, where oppression, racism, discrimination, hate can get all confused and lost by change, by actions, by people’s claim of unearthed inheritances.”

 The path of the past four months took me through lots of reflections, orienting my research to the exploration of intersectionality and borderlands, bringing in my own identity as a latinx queer woman to analyze the different layers of intersections that define ourselves and determine how we experience the world and our intercommunal relationships.

I want to amplify through design the empirical knowledge of the ”pueblos originarios” (the original cultures) of immigrant and indigenous lived experiences in Canada in order to pursue and achieve the needed restoration/reconstruction of the social and ecological balance on our “Tierra Madre.

Within the actions of the studio class, storytelling, secondary research, using games, letterforms, “colloquies”, are methods that helped in this quest for a research-based project.

I am willing to see my future self, working along with these previous methods, on placemaking, relational design and community practices to re-read the history of the land and its ecologies. To work towards developing and setting design practices that can respond to local needs, reconciling technology with empirical knowledge.

This future self also aims to work on creating awareness, to bring into the conversation the uncomfortable truth of systemic racism and discrimination that doesn’t allow the resurgence of “original” epistemologies as an alternative to shift our modern/capitalist way of living.

I believe design practice is entangled with the political, social and cultural reality of our societies, where colonialism prevails as the status quo. Diverting from this status quo entices being political in disposing convoluted capitalist and modernist practices. An ontological shift is possible by having a firm, collective intent as designers. We owe it to our future generations; we owe it to a distressed Pachamama. We have to look back into the future to move forward. I want to see my future self, doing that.

Action 11 | Intersectionality | Borderlands

Reflecting | Reckoning

The social contract?

The aim of a social contract theory is to show that members of some society have reason to endorse and comply with the fundamental social rules, laws, institutions, and/or principles of that society” Rousseau, Hobbes, Kant?…NOPE

What did we do to us?…Rewind!

“Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects.” (Kimberle Creenshaw, 1989)

In my research I want to investigate how Intersectionality and Borderlands influence the way that we interact in our societies, and how we can act through design to promote change and restore local indigenous knowledge.

Intersectionality is the overlap of race, gender, sex, class and other human characteristics that shape who we are and how we interact with others in social contexts.

I define Borderlands as cultural borders, as intersectional margins, where the racialized view of capitalist and modernist societies define and delimit geographies and cultural identities creating oppression, discrimination and marginalization.

“Border thinking requires a shift in the geography of reasoning, a delinking from the assumption of modern and postmodern epistemology, hermeneutics, and sensibility”(W.Mignolo, 2014)

As a Latinx Canadian brown queer woman, I traverse colonial rivers speaking from lived realities of racial and sexual discrimination. I seek to amplify the empirical knowledge of the pueblos originarios (the original cultures) of immigrant and indigenous lived experiences in Canada in order to pursue and achieve the needed restoration/reconstruction of the social and ecological balance of our Tierra Madre. I am studying my own epistemology, as a Canadian Immigrant: the Guarani culture and its language from my home-ground Paraguay, as an expression of reconstructed memory that opens a door to regain space within indigenous knowledge.

Paraguayan new acquired bibliography, November 2020

At this moment, I am studying graphic symbols, iconography from the guaranies. I want to explore how those symbols convey the Guarani language and how they also represent their own intersections, class, gender, identity within the communities.

I am also exploring their communal spaces, how land works as a social space where their cosmovision is manifested.

How can we translate this way of being through relational design?

Ethnographies Studies of the Mbayá Guaicurú
Ishir Warriors body paint

The sense of being a last Action (for this year) creates the idea of an end. But time is a construction of our own colonial structures. Could this be the last or the fist action? Do I need to give it a place in the sequence of the class or of my research ? Maybe it is just to use time as the journey of life, as indigenous epistemologies put it, where things don’t need to be rushed, where we need to pause and reflect, take a deep breath, start over, look back to build a new future.

Action 10 | In Transit | Tapépe

Which journeys do we choose? What land do we recognize? What limits can we afford?

Storytelling, how do we come and go. Who are the people we see, how do they see us? In the moment of reckoning, there are stops, waiting rooms, the absence of our own self searching for answers. When we say together, we mean proximity, awareness of the other, empathy…What is together when we barely look at each other, when our masks go beyond the virus and are worn on our hearts, when racism, gender and sexual discrimination are reasons for erasure and omission?

Race, gender, sex, class travel wit us, our intersections, our definition. How do we untangle this preconception of identity, to restore our humanity and our sense of the world?

Pandemic journey
Are we together?
Empty Hallways at Miami Intl. Airport November, 2020
Miami Int. Airport 6:00 pm
Let’s not look at each other
Waiting sometimes hurts