What’s another word for survival?
Lorena Cruz Santiago, Adrián García, Valeria Montoya, Mateo Vargas & Martín Wannam
What’s another word for survival? was an online artists panel talk and online video presentation of works by Lorena Cruz Santiago, Adrián García, Valeria Montoya, Mateo Vargas and Martin Wannam.
Program date: Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 7:30-8:30 PM (CST)
How are you? How do you feel? How’s your family doing? How are you coping with the pandemic? These questions, life lines, and check-ins have become vital to our survival. But survival seems a strange word these days. Survival is not the same as “to survive” or “surviving” which sound more present tense, more actual, now, and ongoing. Amidst this never-ending pandemic, an attack on our livelihoods, our friends and family, our economic stability, our sense of place and the solvency of our communities remains in question. We’re all just trying to keep it together. Trying to survive.
But, really though, how are our peoples doing? Our peoples, be they Central American kin, our immigrant families, our vulnerable indigenous communities across North America, or our various Latinx diaspora in the US. How are we doing across the Americas? How are we coping with these legacies of colonialism revived in the weaponization of illness against our peoples?
And what is felt, known, unspoken and perhaps forgotten in this survival mode? As the pandemic rages and we all recover our vision from the slow motion train wreck and sudden whiplash of the recent US election; what questions and concerns, what hopes and fears linger in our hearts from a time, if we can imagine, before COVID-19? What were the major issues concerning our varied communities prior to “the election”? What was on our mind before the lockdowns and quarantines?
Responding to our Open Call from February 2020, this second round of awardees resound as a defiant response to the various systems of oppression that mark our peoples. From gender defiance, spiritual plains of resistance, indigenous language and knowledge systems, and other survival tactics such as performance, walking, rituals and fire, these works animate our feelings and concerns. Ranging from Guatemala, Mexico and through to the US, these videos echo non-binary, queer, feminists and indigenous methods of resistance and healing.
This exceptional group of artists use the craft of their hands, lens, eyes, body, time and performance to cause us to pause. They make us ask, “How do you say ‘what do we need’?” in our mother tongues. We thank and celebrate Lorena Cruz Santiago, Adrián García, Valeria Montoya, Mateo Vargas and Martin Wannam. We thank them for submitting their art during a pandemic. For having hope in our world enough to share themselves. We thank them for reminding us to fully feel and hold on to our emotions. To revel in their perpetual questions of self. Their questioning may drive us through the turmoil of today’s limited survival toward tomorrow’s fight for a more equitable and inclusive world.
Jose Luis Benavides
Sin Cinta Previa
November 20, 2020