"Remember El Alma" First On-site Performance Challenging the Alamo, March 2010

"Remember El Alma," First on-site performance
challenging the Alamo
original poem written by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

Adapted by Virginia Grise; Produced by Bihl Haus Arts, Kellen McIntyre, Ph.D; Performed at Luminaria!
San Antonio, Hemisfair Plaza, San Antonio, Texas, March 13, 2010; 5 Actresses, 1 Musician
A cast of beautiful women, all ages and colors, from
all over San Antonio
; Foto Credit: Joan Frederick @2010

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Alamo, as it should be

I do not want to glorify war anymore. Gracias a Laura Varela, a filmmaker who envisioned these images, and Joan Frederick, who took these glorious photographs as San Antonio's Luminaria Celebration on Saturday, March 14, 2009.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why Women, Las Mujeres, Must Claim the Alamo

Because women are here to heal the world. Men are here to destroy it. We are the ones who must guide men to use their power constructively. Have you ever seen a man cry? Believe me, they want to. The love of women for the world is a divine gift, and too often we have let men take it away.

It is more powerful to love than it is to hate. The Alamo is a monument to war.

Join me for a Reading/Platica and Q&A about the Yellow Rose of Texas and Reclaiming the Alma, the Soul of Texas.

Saturday, March 14, 2009
3-5 pm
Luminaria Reading

Bihl Haus Arts
2803 Fredericksburg
San Antonio, TX 78201

photo credits: Joan Frederick @2008

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The next mayor of San Antonio is Julian Castro and will he or won't he?

So I"m at the first-ever virtual townhall meeting for a political campaign in San Antonio! I got here late, so I can't really tell you what happened, lots of male bloggers and just met Julian's wife, Erica, who's due tomorrow. It seems I'm one of two female bloggers, here at the Julian Castro Headquarters on Mulberry and Broadway. It's fun to be here, the campaign people are real people.

I know Julian's mother, Rosie, a long-time activist in the Chicano movement. Like so many of my generation, she gave her son the best education she could -- Stanford and Harvard Law School. And he's certainly polished, I've seen him on television answering questions in a succinct, cool, tvbite way.

I first met Julian Castro as a progressive City Councilman in 1992 who stood up to the real estate developers who wanted to build a PGA golfcourse over the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer. But the pressures on any city councilperson in this city are immense, and eventually Julian's courage took a backseat to the then-Mayor Ed Garza's rejection of a voter referendum -- and the golf course development was begun.

If I had arrived in time, my question to our future mayor is this: How do you feel about that vote now? The PGA Golf Course represented San Antonio's sad history of real estate development, the destruction of our environment, the religious belief in cars and highways to get us there and back, and the regressive tax structures that have kept San Antonio's poor, poorer still.

If Julian gets elected on May 9th, he could be Mayor for up to eight years (4-two-year terms)

Would you do it again, Julian?

Monday, March 09, 2009

The good and the bad of San Antonio

The Good:

Margaritas with top-shelf tequila
Nachos bien greasy
The river that runs through the city
San Pedro Park
The Missions
Conjunto music, especially Eva Ybarra's accordion
Nopales with yellow florecitas
No te freak, toda twistiada, the language of Tex-Mex
La buena gente, people are kind. Even the mugger worried the other day how I was gonna take the bus after he had my money.

The Bad:

The Alamo -- the way the children are confused walking out of it. What lessons are we giving them? The Alamo. The souvenir shops across the street confound people after they hear how "sacred" the Alamo is. The guides at the Alamo tell us stories of battles and "brave men." One time a group of people told me "We kicked your butt."
The Alamo. And the thousands of ghosts that still roam there -- the men who died from both sides, and the Native Americans buried under the plaza that we walk on every day.
The Alamo. A symbol of war, of violence, of hate.
The Alamo: Sometimes, a symbol of nothing, because people just walk across it for its sheer beauty. To take a picture.

The Alamo. Let's talk about it.

Let's talk about it. Let's make the Alamo a good place to be.
Saturday, March 14, 3-5 pm, Luminaria Reading
Bihl Haus Arts
2803 Fredericksburg
San Antonio, 78201

photo credit: Joan Frederick

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Alamo, Abused Children and Battered Women

I don't like the Alamo. Don't care who won or lost anymore -- the Anglos or the Mexicans? It's all the same to me.

The Alamo didn't give me "freedom." The civil rights movement did that.

The women lost at the Alamo. The children lost. Women were raped, abandoned, forgotten, used. I say Forget the Alamo on March 6th by remembering the ugliness, the horror, the pillage of war.

San Antonio is a violent city. We have some of the highest rates in the nation for abused children, battered women, cruelty to animals.

As long as we celebrate this monument to war, there will be no peace in San Antonio. Violence engenders more violence. That war haunts us still as we revere the "heroes" and don't know who the peacemakers are.

This year, I am asking women from all over the world to examine, study, and look again at these monuments to war. Let's begin with the Alamo. Let's ask that the Alamo become a Monument to Peace. A Wailing Wall where all of us can go and cry in our suffering, and let's turn the Alamo into a Center for the Study of Peace, Healing, & Reconciliation.

photo credit: Joan Frederick, www.joanfrederick.net