we´re all SUPERHeROES
Hasta la Raíz, is an annual workshop that provides opportunities for Latinx youth to seek their identity through art. Its objective is to open spaces where these young people can imagine and create art around their identity and think on how it may translate into community involvement.
This year, the theme of the workshop was “We’re all superheroes.” Children were introduced to Mexican culture and folklore in a dynamic and fun way, they were also taught that by learning about their weaknesses, they can increase their strengths.
Participants created a character with the characteristics of a superhero. Local artists, Itzel Sagal, Alberto Rio and Macuca Cuca, chatted with the little ones about the history of Lucha Libre (professional wrestling) and the characteristics of some Aztec gods. Based on this conversation, the children painted several masks, mixing colors and shapes, learned some Aztec dances and the representation of the 4 elements. They also talked about why their body is a fundamental part of interacting with people. By designing a mask, they reinvented themselves and visualized their qualities.
Lucha Libre is now part of our culture, even though its creation only dates back to the 1930s. It arrived in Mexico with American influences but really found its true identity and metamorphosis with the appearance and creation of the masks, the wrestlers became characters and their masks created curiosity and a bit of mysticism in the audience, thus turning the wrestlers into a kind of superhero for the fans. Some of the most recognized wrestlers are El Santo, Blue Demon, El Huracán Ramírez, El Rayo de Jalisco, Mil Mascaras, El Cavernario, El Perro Aguayo and Atlantis, to name a few.
All superheroes have strengths and weaknesses, and some of them sad stories, but their strength lies precisely in overcoming adversity and maintaining the premise of creating a better world, always helping and collaborating with their community.
These workshops introduced children into the art world within their different expressions; painting, music, dance and sculpture, children play and experience mixing techniques, colors, textures, sounds and movements guided by imagination. It is important to participate and disseminate these spaces that allow children and young people to have a better understanding of Mexican art and culture, because a community with young artists is a living community.
"Hasta la Raíz" was made possible thanks to the collaboration of Alaska State Council on the Arts, the Rasmuson Foundation, Out North and local Latinx artists.