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Showing posts from September, 2007

LATINOS, WORLD WAR II, AND THE VIOLENCE OF MY FATHER

My father, Robert Renaud, who's now 87, served in World War II for three years. Thank you, Maggie Rivas, Ph.D, for forcing Ken Burns to include men like my father.

Now let's talk about ending The War once and for all.

To do that, we have to remember the lessons.

My father returned to San Perlita, Texas ready to fight anyone who crossed him. He believed himself a better man than those who did not go to la guerra. To this day, he remembers his first days in the Army, his buddies, his uniform, how to salute, and the bone-breaking explosion of cannon from his driver's seat in the tank.

Daddy used to humiliate my mother because she was mexicana, and didn't speak good English like him. He thought we should bomb Vietnam into a democracy. He scoffed at Martin Luther King, Jr., as a man who "started trouble."

World War II taught my father he belonged. He took on the views of the priviliged, even though he wasn't. But ay, how he wanted to be.

Daddy beat m…

This is the Huipil you won't see at the Museo Alameda's "Huipiles: A Celebration:"

This is the kind of woman you're not going to see this in the Huipiles: A Celebration, at the Museo Alameda Smithsonian.

So I'm showing it to you.

Comandanta Ramona, 1959-2006
The world has lost one of those women it requires. Mexico has lost one of the combative women it needs and we, we have lost a piece of our heart,” said sub-comandante Marcos at the time of her death.

An advocate for women’s rights and artisanship, Ramona was the first member of the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee (CGRI), the leadership body of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), to have died since their uprising in 1994.

In 1993, Comandanta Ramona, together with Major Ana MarĂ­a, extensively consulted indigenous Zapatista communities (back then, still underground and not public) about the exploitation of women and subsequently penned theRevolutionary Laws of Women. On March 8 of that year, the Revolutionary Laws were passed.

Ramona was a petite, soft-spoken woman charged with signif…

Huipiles at the Museo Alameda: There is nothing to celebrate

So some young latinas asked me yesterday about the "Huipiles" at the Museo Alameda. They were confused about the Exhibit. The photo below is by a commercial artist, Liz Garza Williams, one of the artists in the Huipiles Exhibit, and this is her photo of the featured artist, Kathy Sosa, wife of Republican party advertising-mogul Lionel Sosa, who is also in the show.You know what this visual says to young latinas, who comprise the majority population in this region? This photo, indicative of the quality and imagery in this Huipiles exhibit, says "See how I own your past? Do you see how beautiful I am wearing what you don't even know about? You can't even afford your own history, because only a rich woman like me is good enough and beautiful enough to wear it."

Now the Museo Alameda has asked latina scholars to contribute to "panels," to discuss "huipiles." There is a documentary that accompanies the show where some huipil-dressed l…

What's wrong with this picture? The Museo Alameda in San Antonio

You're looking at one of the photographs taken by Liz Garza Williams, whose work is currently being exhibited at the Museo Alameda in a new exhibit titled Huipiles: A Celebration.

Other artists included in this exhibit are Kathy Sosa (Republican-party advertising mogul Lionel Sosa's wife), Cristina Sosa Noriega (Lionel's daughter of the HEB Loteria dinnerware line), Jacinto Guevara, artist, Veronica Prida, and Lionel Sosa himself.

I'm not a certified art critic, just a Chicana who's travelled all over Mexico and who spent time in Guatemala during their civil war. The women who wear huipiles there look like Rigoberta Menchu - they are indigenous, brown, impoverished, marginalized, and supremely despised by the status quo. They look like me. The Zapatista women wear them too.

Henry R. Munoz III, the founder of the Smithsonian-affiliated Museo Alameda in downtown San Antonio, is also the Vice-Chairman of the Smithsonian Board. According to trusted sources, he spent $1…