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Thursday, March 11, 2004
I really need to do more research on border art and border artists. But I also don't want to get sucked into the Chicano artist/activist train of thought. Is it bad to not want to be identified as a Chicano artist? I just don't feel quite right identifying myself and my heritage to a socio-political movement. And it's not that I don't appreciate the Chicano movement because if it weren't for the chicano activists, I'd have much less privilege to be speaking my mind right here. I just dislike the idea of a label all together. Call me an individualist if you need a label, but I never felt in line with anything much of my life. Even in Brownsville, being raised Southern Baptist within a large Catholic demographic put me at odds; worse now that I am agnostic and thinking of going Unitarian! Also, minority underrepresentation has never been a big issue in Brownsville (on micro-social terms) unless it's an issue for people who are not Mexican-American. Hmmm...that would be an interesting topic to research, how do other ethnicities in Brownsville feel like as minorities in a micro-society with a large Mexican-American demographic that is underrepresented in macro-society? There are so many ways to approach these topics, but I think the most difficult thing is to pin-point what you want to address rather than present an arbituary and general commentary that would just confuse everyone in the end.
I need to involve myself in dialogue about border issues and to find other artists for an exchange of ideas and support. On this topic, I went to a screening of Alex Rivera's "The Sixth Section". This documentary is moving and educational, and prior to learning about his visit to UT, I never knew about the existence of Mexican hometown associations in the United States, raising funds to economically develop their hometown. What was even more amazing was that these small groups have gained political ground and influence in their state from 2,000 miles way. I recommend this documentary to anyone.
About finding artists or people for dialogue, if you are interested in contributing e-mail me. Until then, enjoy the great weather because it's been a beautiful spring!
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