Dirty Cochinas of the AMERICAS is a performance and installation project by Luna and Pilar on our Mestiza/mixed race identities. We come from vast differences in Indigeneity, in land, and in colonization – Pilar, from Colombia, the entrance into Latin America over land – Luna, from Chile, the exit out of Latin America into Antarctica – yet we hold vastly similar experiences of Mestizaje.
North Americans gut our experiences into a narrative of Othered, exotic immigrant Latinidad. But we are not Latinas, we are people of the Americas. We are born out of the rape of our lands and of our Indigenous women’s bodies by Spaniards. Named Mestizas by those same Spaniards within their racialized system of erasure from the 1500s. We are the embodiment of the genocidal racism introduced by colonization, of the brutal imposition of Catholicism, of the destruction of our ancestral cultures, rituals and memory, shattered by imposed hatred of our origin, always asked to name and claim our Spanish/European roots, but never to name our Indigenous lines of descent.
Both of us had to escape murderous colonizing violence in our nation/states – a violence that began to destroy the Americas 500 years ago, and extends to this day. Both of us exiles, we have left our lands and relocated to Canada and in our own bodies we are aware that our relocation to the nation/state of Canada has changed us from being subject to displacement, to representing displacers in the Indigenous Americas of the North.
In this work, we share our hemispheric struggle: with our nations, our states, our histories of colonization, with our immediate and extended families and cultures, with our bodies, with our migration, as Mestizas – neither Indigenous, nor European – heirs to nothing, We are the Dirty, The Cochinas, we are the AMERICAS.
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