Artivism in Latinx Communities: Reappropriation of Spaces Via Art

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Authors

KRÁSNÁ Denisa

Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Description In her article “Art in America, Con Acento”, the Chicana feminist writer Cherríe Morraga affirms that “the art and literature that we produce must be one of ‘resistance,’ resistance to domination by Anglo-America, resistance to assimilation, resistance to economic exploitation” (157). As power hierarchies increasingly threaten the position of Latinx population in the US, social commitment and the notion of hospitality are reinforced in Latinx communities that often express their sentiments via the so called artivism (art + activism). Artivism as a non-violent political and artistic movement started as a communal effort between the Zapatista and Chican@ artists in Los Angeles in 1997 and while it can take on many forms—as a painting, literature, film, radio, dance, music, performance—street art remains one of the most powerful artivist expressions for its visibility and potential to reach wide audiences. Moreover, the paper will suggest that murals serve as a tool for Latinx women to reappropriate public spaces that have historically been dominated by white men. Drawing on a critical analysis of selected works of Latinx artivism from the US Southwest, the paper will examine the ways in which Latinx contemporary artivism contests the power hierarchies and race- and gender-motivated discriminatory practices that continue to inform the current anti-migratory US political landscape and society. Furthermore, it will be argued that artivism contributes to the creation of what could be called international solidarity networks among various resistance groups that share not only their oppressed position in the dominant society but also similar worldviews. Such solidarity and cooperation can be truly transformative and, as will be argued, even revolutionary.
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