›The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject-object duality that keeps her a prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended. The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, lies in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts.‹ Gloria Anzaldúa
This book is classic, a mestizo text, both politically and aesthetically. It weaves together autobiography, essay and poetry with a writing that defies narrative linearity and which includes and shifts between the languages that defined Anzaldúa's life experiences: Spanish, English, Nahuatl, northern Mexican, Tex-Mex, Chicano and Pachuco, to produce a new critical discourse that prevents essentialisms and seeks, to celebrate the multiple identities in which border subjects recognize themselves and that shape the consciousness of the so-called New Mestiza. Anzaldúa develops a transformation of the discourse of mestizaje, to propose a new female mestizo subject: the New Mestiza, a heterogeneous subject, marginal and of indigenous descendance; a woman of color, lesbian and border dweller, whose identity is constructed from her struggles and her racial, linguistic and historical origins, and whose recognition problematizes the heteronormative, patriarchal and exclusionary universality with which the Chicano collective and movement had conceived their discourse of ethnic identity. A seminal work which understands the dissidence of the migrant bodies and voices to adapt to the one single notion of identity proposed by the modern /colonial ideology of the nation state.
I read this book when I was 25 and it was a strong experience of recognition of my migrant body which hosted many different homes, belongings and identities. I came back to this text in the context of the research of Volume 4 of the Endangered Human Movements project titled Danza y Frontera from which different sister pieces emerged for museum, theatre, and the streets.
Cultural work proposes realities, it is ontogenetic, I believe it is absolutely important today to work towards understanding the experiences of people whose identities and senses of belonging are complex and which exceed the binary logics of colonial modernity, thinking of a world which already is, facing climate change displacements, and will become even strongly shaped by movements of migration.
Amanda Piña, 2021
Direction und Choreography Danza y Frontera – Endangered Human Movements Vol. IV