Among salsa, merengue, samba and mariachi, Latinx youth explored rhythms that unite them with their grandparents and places of childhood. Some of them were born here, others came very young and others belong to multicultural families. Hand in hand with musicians like Mariana Arteaga, one of the founders of the only mariachi in Alaska, the songs that make Latin homes rumble became manifest.
Mariano Gonzales arranged for colors to open the bridge between the familiar and the new, as bringing together the worlds in which the Latinx live in Alaska. Many know the situation in Latin America because it is a constant theme in their families. But those are also distant images and sometimes an unknown historical past, often distorted.
The wire and paper sculptures made under the guidance of the Mexican artist Macuca Cuca show the freedom to be and create in the Latinx, who worked on their own alebrije: birds, flying pigs and mixed beings with different textures and colors.
They were painting while listening to the poetry of Latin poets and stories about leaders who have contributed to a better quality of life such as Cesar Chavez, Benito Juarez, Simon Bolivar, among others. They also had the opportunity to talk with local writers such as Bryan Fierro who talked frankly about his experiences growing up in the United States and how he wrote his book Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul.
The poems that the participants wrote during the workshop talk about their favorite objects, their memories, desires and the persons that inspire them. By reading some fragments one can realize the potential and heritage in the young Latinx generations.
Yo soy la roca obsidiana que nadie puede derrumbar. Yo soy Benito Juárez, soy él tenemos el mismo cumpleaños I am Itzcoatl. By Itzcoatl Bautista-Lescas, Age: 14
The pour of the rain hitting the ground sounding like a cat and listen to French soul music eat grape flavored candy and imagine flying to Tokyo together and see the garnet colored lights and look at all the busses that everyone can ride because of people like Rosa Parks. By Santiago Quintero, Age: 13
Soleado como la brillante luz redondo como una O Una estrella redonda como la llanta de una bicicleta redonda como un ojo. By Itandeui Naomi Domínguez Gómez, Age: 8
Little by little the sculptures, the paintings and the poems were taking shape, opening a small window exposed in the Anchorage Museum during the celebration of Día del Sol on May 5th.
Thanks to the hard work of Indra Arriaga and Jessica Raymond, coordinators of the project, to all the mentoring artists and to Francesca DuBrock who made the Museum exhibition possible, Latinx Hasta la Raíz planted seeds with the hope that they germinate.
Photos courtesy of Kevin Smith of Out North
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