Soy Quien Soy
I am simple, and yet complex I lack good qualities and characteristics when under distress I'm fun, and I'm a bore I'm short, but wonâ€™t be IGNORED. I see and perceive what the future has in store for me, it frightens me, it scares me I do not take pride on my real first name, and for this I'm ashamed I do not have a favorite color, although I do appreciate all earth colors I am loyal to those loved ones around me; anyone else can simply despise me. I am dominant, but I do not wish to control your domain, so please remain the same I am a proud descendant of the Mexica race: Raza Chicana, Raza Mestiza, Raza Mulata, nose emos unido por una gran causa! I am brave, and will never be enslaved I dream, not of unicorns and flying horses, but of concrete things that will evolve through metamorphose I'm shy, but will never subside I am a strong believer in human rights, and when they are messed with, I will stand up and fight. I'm sane, and also insane, but then again whoâ€™s to blame? I am who I am for better or for worse, take it or leave it, for I might just be your curse.
hey you little girl with the body your dancing senorita toes pretty happy moving hips I think and dip down in your mercy your obselete forgotten cares I sink down in my gladness your satin soft shiny caress tiny tortilla silly winks your smile is endless Iâ€™ll never ever forget this Desire from the valley
from TEJANA! by David Bellarosa
Ernesto Vazquez Perros Politicos Linoleum-block Print, 2011 â€œDon't let yourself get bitten by the political dogs!
DECOLONIZE THE OCCUPATIONS! by CHRIS RODRIGUEZ The destructive face of globalization has reached all corners of the planet. While the land, water, air, animals and humanity are in need of a world-wide movement of liberation, most people continue to overindulge and over consume. The United States is of course the leading force behind this mass consumption and destruction. But, as a Mexican writer for the radical blog Desinformémonos said, “finally something begins to move in the belly of the beast. ” Yes, I ’m talking about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Writing from within the belly of the beast, however, implies a responsibility to challenge the language of empire and remind us that beyond occupying space, there is a deeper struggle, a five hundred plus year-old indigenous movement, to decolonize, recuperate and liberate occupied territory—physical and geographic. Perhaps the use of the term “occupy ” is embedded in people's consumption of the U.S. Empire's mass media promoting endless war and domination of the world. I feel it is safe to say that this has normalized the idea of occupation, and as we are witnessing today, has also made it easy for the masses to reclaim the word “occupy ” as a positive, progressive one. But did you ever stop to think about how your own physical mind and body are occupied? Do we really need to occupy more space? How will these questions reach a leaderless movement of occupation? Well for the folks who take the time to read this post my intention is to express solidarity with the those who are voicing their rage at the occupations. Perhaps some of you camping out at civic centers and wall streets across the U.S. Empire will have time to read this post and get inspired to praxis what you're preaching. Going back to decolonizing occupied spaces. If you consume a Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) then not only is your mind and body occupied by patriarchal imperialist capitalist United States, but the land you stand on is too. You see, prior to colonization and industrialization the majority of people around the U.S. autonomously controlled their ancestral lands and thus were able to control their own bodies through eating very healthfully and ecologically. In other words, our ancestors understood the co-dependency our bodies have with the land, flora and fauna and therefore ate accordingly—seasonally, over 80 percent plant-based and locally. Yet with European colonization, not only did native land get occupied but so did native bodies. On the west coast Spanish missionaries were ordered by the Pope to convert the souls of our ancestors to Christianity. This also meant converting their taste buds and diets to that of the European heavily meat-based gluttonous ways of eating and drinking. The most symbolic act of this besides the overt infiltration of indigenous kitchens by clergy chefs, was the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This act of symbolic cannibalism epitomizes the European elite desire for meat/bread aka “body of Christ” and wine/alcohol aka “blood of Christ. ” At the same time, came the occupation of native land and displacement of the flora and fauna by cows, pigs, chicken and wheat. Animal protein occupied the land where plant-based protein was cultivated and wheat replaced corn. After observing the intricate work that indigenous communities put into the cultivation of corn, the European colonizers imposed the cultivation of wheat in order to meat, I 4
mean meet, the increasing demand and desire for Christ ’s body in the form of bread back in Europe. We can see that sugar production and export to Europe fits into this equation too. Did you know the first sugar mill in the Americas—Mexico specifically —was built in 1521? As Native American territory became occupied during the creation of the United States Empire, natives were deprived of their foodways and forced to prepare food with bleached flour and sugar (the birth of fry bread). The product of this occupation of Native foodways by European gluttony was colonial dis-eases like diabetes, cardiovascular, and obesity. These did not exist as they do today prior to the Industrial Revolution when the mass-production of meat, dairy and processed foods concurrently began to destroy our water, land, air and animals. Beyond the Native American experience of occupation we can see how these politics of food and occupation continue to affect everyone. Agribusinesses displace campesinos —rural indigenous and non-indigenous farmers; destroy ancestral seeds; and poison the people who produce, harvest, package, distribute, prepare and consume these foods. The factory farming of animals is also part of this ecologically destructive formula. All of this is related to occupation. The occupation of indigenous land and ways of eating and thinking. Everything is interconnected. It is time to liberate ourselves and our ecological community from this repressive food matrix and occupation. We must abandon these methods of food and meat production, distribution and consumption and return to and support Native communities who produce, harvest, hunt and fish wild, seasonally and locally. This is ecologically and economically sustainable and necessary. It is one step towards food sovereignty and liberation. But this cannot be done unless we change the way we eat. This is a matter of decolonizing our taste buds by returning to a plant-based way of eating. As we begin to decolonize ourselves— minds, bodies, souls—then we prepare to decolonize the land. His/herstory has shown us that without land there is no freedom. More importantly though, we must look at where liberation and decolonization have truly manifested in post-modern ways. I ’m thinking especially about the Zapatista Autonomous Communities of Chiapas, Mexico. Although a rural indigenous movement, we can still be inspired by their methods of radical non-violence and decentralization of government among many other autonomous projects. However, their success is related to the recuperation of ancestral territories. This is not to be confused with occupation since they—as all indigenous people—are the ancestral keepers of the land they work and protect. By recuperating ancestral territory they were once forced as slaves to work, autonomous health and food projects quickly emerged. Zapatista women are no longer losing their children to curable dis-eases. An entirely new generation of Zapatista youth are healthier than ever. And they will be the first to tell you “health is the most precious thing you can give to a movement.” Speaking with the voice of our ancestors and Mother Earth I am asking the occupiers of Wall Street to shift this movement towards the decolonization of the land and our bodies from the imperialist, capitalist United States. The first and foremost effective step towards this process of decolonization begins with the everyday act of eating and speaking too. ¡Tóma conciencia! Decolonize the diet, re-indigenize our foodways!
Ernesto Vazquez Love Screenprint, 2011 6
I had GMO's for lunch. As a person that cares deeply about what happens in the world, I am open to learn from everyone and I try to pass what little knowledge I have on to others. I feel that we need to connect on many different levels in order to keep our land livable for ourselves as an occupying species on this planet. We need to act in our capacity if we want to change. That means with the knowledge we receive, we need to take responsibility to change our own habits in order to support others making their own change. Today, I’m working towards eliminating all the genetically modified organisms (GMO’s or GM Foods) out of my diet. The term GM foods or GMO's are used to refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using molecular biology techniques. GMO’s are plants that have been genetically engineered to enhance desired traits such as drought tolerance, increased resistance to herbicides or to improve nutritional content. In a natural setting, plants adapt to their living conditions and each generation will adopt desired traits over time. This process done in a laboratory will increase the desired outcome very rapidly and the accuracy of isolating specific genes are much higher. Genes from plants can not only be transferred from one another, they can also have nonplant genes transferred into themselves such as a soil bacteria called BT (bacillus thuringiensis). Bt is a built-in pesticide that is found in GM corn and cotton. Bt secrets the insect-killing toxin in every cell of the plant that it is in. Combined with other genetically modified traits (resistance to strong herbicides) the plant becomes infused with considerably high residues of weed killer in our food. Large populations of farmers have been known to have negative reactions to Bt. Aside from health risks, the fear of cross pollination of GM plants with natural plants arises. The fear that these GMO’s will cross with invasive weeds and create “super weeds” is a huge debate amongst farmers, conservationists and ecologists. The concern is growing at a large rate because of the lack of knowledge and the scientific data towards GMOs. The data that is known is that the GMO industry is growing with large scale operations and putting the small farmer out of business. Large companies are able to genetically modify food that can be patented, making it illegal for any farmer to propagate their seed without purchasing it from the major company. The small farmer cannot compete and are being forced out of business. I care about what I eat and what my two year old daughter eats. With more than 80% of GMO’s ingredients in processed food, I want to make a change. I not only encourage you to learn more about GMO’s, I challenge you to care about yourself. Go organic!!
BY MARCOS TRINIDAD 7
Go Organic. Organic producers cannot use GMOs., pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Unpackaged. According to the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, 80% of packaged foods contain genetically engineered ingredients. The California Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act. Intiative for 2012 ballot requiring genetically engineered foods, and food containing GMO ingredients to be clearly labeled. “Because the FDA has failed to require labeling of GMO food, this initiative closes a critical loophole in food labeling law. It will allow Californians to choose what they buy and eat and will allow health professionals to track any potential adverse health impacts of these foods.” - Andy Kimbrell, Director of the Center for Food Safety
Local & Seasonal. Since most food travels many miles to reach the table (1,500 miles, on average), locally sourced food cuts back on the climate-change impacts of transportation. Local food also uses less packaging, is fresher and tastier, and comes in more varieties. The best way to track down local food is at farmers markets or through community supported agriculture (CSA), which offer home delivery or weekly pick ups . books: An Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan LocalHarvest.org Seeds of Deception – Jeffrey Smith ResponsibleTechnology.org LabelGMOs.org films: OrganicConsumers.org The Future of Food (view online at futureoffood.com) NonGMOShoppingGuide.com Food Inc. The World According to Monsanto InGREEDients
The Future is Now!
My stable of bikes are wmd's to the oil companies. They're Rockafeller killers. The best part is every time I start rollin to a new destination no matter how far it may be, all my problems just melt away. It's just the road (or lack there of), my bike, and me. No one can see the world through my eyes but I hope you understand that I've never been more at peace than I am at this moment and every moment that follows. I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing and as long as I use the best of my abilites to the best of my abilities no force in the universe can undermind the power of the love in my heart leading the way. I can't take back all the ridiculous things I've done in the past. I can just move forward one foot in front of the other with my bony ass on the saddle knowing I am blessed with the strength it takes to turn mountains into mole hills and the sense to not repeat my misgivings a second time. Iam bound to the pound in my heart as well as the vibrations of the universe. As long as that's the case it is a necessity to get smarter, faster, and stronger.
ERIC JACKSON 9
Where to Go When Starting from Nothing. Where to go when starting from nothing moving to a new town with traffic and fancy dresses Making a statement is hard to do you can’t lecture your way into america’s heart she sees right Through the glass on the kitchen table is dirty the night still asleep in your mouth There is nothing to say, nothing to let in. From where did the crimes come that gave my song lips It’s trifling hard work. The sweat on my brow is tired. Too tired to run down my face I think about Red, grabbing his keys heading for the door for the studio for the beer at the end of a keychain erupting streets from roots of trees and biking along them The breeze is it the only relief from the June grown heat i strip all my clothes and lie on my back in the cool bedroom passing time with trivial drama making laughter in my socks all alone on the other side of the train tracks On the bike the street sings a melodic rhythm oy yoy yoy yuh and I stop for a moment to check the tires train tracks make me nervous the pinching of the tube in the well I could use a glass of water. I hope for rain In the car the next song comes on pulling memory from restful times making useful worry climb to chaos May I have a line I’ll take 40 if you have it
OVARIAN PSYCOS-CYCLE female bicycle brigade
Sometimes our ovarian cycles make us turn into ovarian psychos. Come ride off the stress and get a work out, connect with other wombyn on the streets of Los Angeles while becoming more familiar with the resources in our communities. Political views: Feminist ideals with indigena understanding and urban/hood mentality. Purpose: We are connecting dots, riding around our neighborhoods, and becoming aware of community agencies and spaces in an effort to solidify our local networks making everything and everyone more accessible for and to each other. Currently we are holding 3 rides per month. 1 day and 2 night rides (Regular night ride and Luna night ride). Day rides and regular night rides: These rides are gender-friendly and welcome any men who want to ride with us in support. They are sometimes geared towards a cause or to promoting an issue we feel needs awareness and riding to or through locations associated with those causes. Themes we have covered in the past include: LGBT Suicides, Immigrant Rights, Environmental Issues, etc. 11
*Night rides: The “Luna rides“ are ridden during the full moon and are STRICTLY WOMYN IDENTIFIED ONLY! *It is important that you leave your brothers, homeboys, husbands, boyfriends's, sanchos, and significant others at home… Our goal is to provide a safe space and a welcoming environment for our sisters and sisters at heart. We want you to leave with a sense of confidence and security in taking back the night! http://www.facebook.com/ovarian.psycos http://ovarianpsycos.com/
photo credit: Rafael Cardenas
By NATALIA PROVATAS
Media is an essential tool in perpetuating the American myth of free speech. We are comforted by the façade that our media is an expression of our society. It seems that we are allowed to say and do whatever we want and broadcast our message to millions of people. We believe that we control our
entertainment. We engage in active political debate by watching The Daily Show on a regular basis. We post links on Facebook damning the senatorial candidates as a
way of “affecting” the system. We vilify nations who have alternative political views; more specifically countries we are at war with. The media in America does not work for the
people. The media works to control and discourage us. The media works to sell products that imprison us behind the walls of manufactured needs. We consume and spend money to feel as though we are living meaningful lives. We consume as a form of expression. Venezuela is a country that has suffered at the hands of the American Media. Particularly the way the U.S. news outlets have portrayed Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chavez. In 2008, Chavez threatened to stop selling oil to the U.S. and Europe if they implemented harsh laws against illegal immigrants, calling the legislation racist,
(AlJAZEERA 1). Most American news sites portrayed Hugo Chavez as a crazed dictator using words like “threat,” and “crisis.” Never once did the US media commend Chavez for taking a stand for immigrant rights. In 2002, Chavez helped to nationalize media in Venezuela, allowing community based organizations to broadcast content that
ranged anywhere from weight loss tips, democratic debates, and even criticism of the Venezuelan police violence happening throughout impoverished neighborhoods. In a
piece by the Catia TV Collective, they talk about the importance of nationalized media saying “…Community media plays a fundamental role as a means of ideological formation 15
formation that coincides with the changes we are experiencing. A large part of the population, who could never before express themselves, are now beginning to see glimpses of the freedom they possess to change their reality,” (CTC 1). The nationalization of media in Venezuela brings to question the definition of free
speech. Particularly the way we think about free speech here in the U.S. In order for
speech to be truly free, it must be un-commodified by industries with special interests
and ties to large corporations interested in selling products. The Catia TV Collective has criticized corporate media, saying it is a tool for the rich to monopolize and control the consciousness of the poor, “The corporate media’s objective is to create an extensive
dominant ideological apparatus that alienates people, keeping them “asleep.”(CTC 2). U.S. media does not encourage us to take action. Instead, it enables our desire to
consume, and restricts our thought process. The United States media has also
perpetuated an obsession with high production value. So much so, that we are willing to see something totally void of content, if it looks pretty. I think of The Transformers
franchises as the perfect example. The Transformer films are big shiny objects meant to
distract us from a complete lack of story, and bad acting. And yet, the franchise has made billions of dollars. Catia TV is a prominent community TV station in East Caracas,
Venezuela. By American standards, Catia TV has low production value, similar to what we would see on PBS. Based solely visuals, American audiences would dismiss Catia TV as a viable way of getting information. However, Catia TV broadcasts political movements throughout the country. They broadcast issues that directly affect their communities. They use their broadcasts to enact social change and organize community events.
Everything from interviews, to production and editing is done by the men, women and
children who live in East Caracas. The United States has become so disconnected from issues that affect us; it is hard to motivate ourselves to get involved. The reason why American’s feel disconnected from the media is because of the
lack of representation. Only two percent of all jobs both in front and behind the camera
belong to people of color (WGA 1). In Venezuela Speaks!: Voices from the Grassroots, they explain how the mainstream media is threatened by the power that local media has in Venezuela, “We set the people free. We broke the chains on the television and other
private media…people want to be a part of their own history, and they want to see themselves reflected in the media. They want to be a part of the crew in the studios, write their soap operas and their news.” (15). 16
When people are involved in creating something that directly affects their life in a positive way, it is what Karl Marx defines as “species life.” Marx believes that we
are not just individuals pursuing our own interests. We are a shared species, working
toward a shared goal. As a species, we act creatively on our lives to change our reality to meet our needs (Marx, 231). We have moved into a digital world, in which
everything we consume is a representation of something that exits; we have ceased to create tangibles. In other words, our species life is suffering. We have no creative
input on what we are seeing on television. Venezuela has managed to reinvigorate
their species life by giving agency to themselves as the producers of their own media. In turn, they have transformed an entire industry wrought with corruption, financial greed and made it work to fulfill their needs.
Changing the American media seems like a daunting task. But there are ways in which you can take small steps to change it. First, I urge you to learn more about
Venezuela and other countries, who aim to redefine media. I would encourage you to be more conscience of the things you watch, and understand how they affect you, and your community at large. Most recently, the film Tower Heist was released in which three out of three minority characters played by Eddie Murphy, Michael Pena and Gabourey Sidibe are stereotypes. Murphy and Sidibe have been nominated for
Academy Awards, and yet they are reduced to playing characters whose origins can be tracked back to the day’s of minstrel shows. It is films like Tower Heist that should
have us question how we represent ourselves in the media. We should ask why these
films get made and what have we done as audiences to perpetuate these stereotypes? There are organizations that have made tremendous strides to diversify the
entertainment industry, and who have countless opportunities for you to get involved and get educated. The Geena Davis Institute works to spotlight gender stereotypes
and inequalities in the media. The NAACP offers several diversity fellowship programs to people of color in an effort to diversify jobs. The NAACP also has several lecture series you can attend to learn more about minority owned production companies.
Lastly, if you are an artist who paints, writes, plays music or makes films, it is your
duty to represent yourself in a way no one would expect. You must become what you do not see in the media. You must portray minorities as successful, complex and intelligent characters. Your art must not only destroy stereotypes, but make the audience question all the information they’ve received since. 17
After not having shot anything in so long, I was unsure about what was of interest to me as a photographer. However, I have always been interested in (and even had a year long phase in high school) of Gothic culture. Not just in fashion and music, but architecture, literature, films, paintings, etc. So my own exploration of the history of the Gothic aesthetic is coming through in photography. These photos are very basic interpretations of Gothic architecture in my daily life. I liked the idea of starting with the body first; that our first introduction to shape, color and mood can be found in the build of a body. I liked also the idea of manipulation. I wanted to shoot different portraits that emphasize the body as actual architecture, and to shoot with shapes and shades that are non-traditional and reminiscent of archways, rooftops, and awnings alike that could exist within a Gothic archetype. They are to read a bit more soft and romantic because they are in color, but to me they are the beginnings of my personal exploration of this culture and aesthetic that I have found so beautiful. First three: Portraits of my Mother | Second two: Self Portraits
By: BRYNNE FILER 18
Canta tu The lonesome wind chime plucks rays from the sun like the strings of a harp. A passing worker bee hums along to the melody. Song with no words.
lets go on a picnic we'll go to the park lie in the grass and eat in the dark sun flower seeds fresh off the stem ripe orange peels stains on my hem dirt on my knees leaves in my hair ants on my calves the moon light it stares at two brown kites caught in a tree they gave up on flight to sleep with the bees
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