Monday, April 10, 2017

A Mulata Contemporánea Chasing Autonomy
















Dique el artist statement:

I'm tired of being invisible. So I take selfies, sometimes inappropriate ones, sometimes unflattering ones that I delete minutes after I post them, sometimes photos that show my body hair that I end up deleting too, photos I block everyone from seeing, photos I post in places away from people I know, photos I post rebelliously for people I know to see. Photos that aren't neat.

Photos chasing autonomy.

It feels like a performance, but calling it that would be too simplistic when I take these photos and feel liberated somehow. I perform sexy and feel sexy, I perform femininity and feel feminine. In choosing the performance, I internalize it.

And maybe I'm performing with this.

Tengo meses thinking about how to turn these photos and their poems into something that's "perfect" somehow--and with chasing after that, this thing which was supposed to be freeing for me, became something else that entrapped me into the many ways in which we're supposed to present ourselves within the confinements of hegemonic capitalist whiteness, where everything is clean and makes sense. I was also trapped in wanting this to be void of anything that wouldn't be accepted. Anything that would start an argument. Anything that would make someone angry. Rethinking terms and titles. Can I clean the oppression off? Can I rewrite the history of el Caribe, the history of colonization? Can I rewrite the history of my body?

Why mulata? 

So yeah, alofoke, autónomamente autonomously, here are some photos I've posted online with captions I wrote to make sense of who I am, in this body. En palabreo. Taking back power and shit.



"Sexy"
Se quisieron apoderar de mi
Se quisieron burlar de mí
Sequía en sus labios
Sectioning my body into pieces
Sexy su culo
Sexy sus tetas
Sexy sus labios
Sanctioning my freedom
Tu dices sexy
Sects si
Yo digo
Sex sin dueño
Sex sí



Memelo pun
Ay memelo pun
Memelo pun
Ay memelo pun
Asi cantábamos cuando niña
Memeleando
La canción era de mujere freca
“Se suben la faldita
Se le ve la popolita
Y los chicos se avergüenzan
Eso e mala ratreria”

Ahora estoy yo aquí
De ratrera
Déjalos que se avergüencen los chicos








Dedos entrelazados entre mi greña
Trapping lovers' fingers with the strength of the ancestors

pero
Shea Moisture is too strong
Suave is too soft (and it has sulfate and whatnot)
I'll settle for coconut milk
Pretending it’ll do something but it doesn't
Like wtf am I, a vegan dulce de leche?
It's like the new Caribbean woke casi-hipster-except-we're-poor wave
all about that sulfate-free-organic-energetic-brujería 
que se vende en pote

Caribbean whiteness, that's my hair.
Creeping up in my head
disrupting the curves
rectificando todo
reminding me I aint shit if it weren't for its presence in my body
Alive like Medusas’ serpents
The first sin of the Americas happened en el Caribe




I remember when he taught me how to comb it
treat it with love for the first time
it's my crown
it's my black ancestors
it's...
it's glorious.
sin joyas
sin flores
Así, it's enough



“taina” (or "the photo I didn't post online")
Entre violación y muerte
Nació algo que nunca existió
Del blanco y negro
Un nuevo gris
Parecido a lo que ya no existe





Snapchat
Snapchatting
Snapping shots of my real desires
Efimerally alive
Like everything
Snapping me in half
till my respectability stops existing
and I pour my messy self unto your screen
Letting u snoop into my life
in loops of 5 seconds at a time
in this photo I look like a bridge





"I want to title this 'Light skinned tears' but only because I know that's what you're going to think and I want to beat you to it"

I’m not as melanated
But I’m melanating
Constantly






I cut my hair to stop hiding my face
Then I took 116 photos
To get a good shot




Esta foto es la que tiene más likes de todas mis fotos
"La autenticidad vende"
Es por el gaze
Porque no estoy posando
Porque no tengo agencia visible
Eso es lo que la hace "auténtica"
Que no estoy de privona
Que no me digo bella
Y aun así se me ve “tremendo cuerpazo”

Caminando así mismo por la calle es que me gritan los hombres
Y así me gritaron ustedes
Ni siquiera tenía los pezones llenos
Cuando comencé a coger el camino largo pa ir a la escuela
Pa que no me jodieran

Tus likes son los catcalls modernos
Pero, yo los pido, los elijo.
I ask for it.
Posting this photo is agency. Or is it an obligation?
A moral duty?
Potential likes would be wasted.
“You look so good in that photo, post it!”
Extending the gaze. Cuz I’m fly as fuck.
You’re welcome






"Mulata"
Me dijeron mulata en la calle
Y sentí que en mi mismo vacío estaba la plenitud
De cualquier lado que me cojas
Me coges o por fetish hacia algo que consideras inhumano
o por odio hacia esa misma cosa
Soy inherentemente violencia anti-Negra
Y en esa misma verdad es que se encuentra mi realidad de Negra



Honorable mentions:


 







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