Archive for April, 2013

A More Perfect Union (Identity on the River)

Posted: April 23, 2013 by conca1 in Uncategorized

hello everyone,

you are about to read an essay by one of the Nuev@ Chican@ Voces  members. each week we will attempt to provide you with some insight to our life (academic or personal), which ultimately influences our beliefs. none of our members have lived the same life, which is not unusual. therefore, the views expressed by one member do not necessarily reflect the views of the group, although sometimes it may.  here’s gabriel:

By Gabriel H. Sanchez

I went across the river, walking over it on the international bridge into Mexico. The purpose of the visit was a bad tooth that needed to be pulled. Before I endured the pain that was to be unleashed upon me, I was thinking about the complex nature of our existence; how our identities are constructs and products of our upbringing and our interactions with others, as well as social pressures and political sentiments. It is never easy living in a highly politically charged region of this country, where cultural and even racial matters become palpable because of the questions of ethnicity and legacy. No group wants or likes to think of themselves as a dying breed, or as being outnumbered and replaced; especially when that group has enjoyed a political and social hegemony for centuries.

But I digress, for these were thoughts which permeated my brain as I walked along the bridge that separates the worlds that influence the very core of my identity. In thinking of the personal, at times it feels like we have to give up a part of who we are, not to fully belong to the other part that claims us, but to at least have the right to fight for the inclusion and recognition of me and mine. Yet as I walked back away from Mexico — the side of my identity that derides me for looking and sounding like a Pocho sellout, approaching the U.S., the other side which denies me and sneers at my proclamations of Chicano pride — I encountered a sight at which to marvel.

As I was being processed like a product on an assembly line to be sanitized of Mexican influence and paraphernalia, I witnessed the two Border patrol agents communicate with us in English, yet as they granted me entrance to my homeland U.S. of A., the male agent turned to the female agent and began to speak in Spanish. In essence, there was a code switch that shifted the reality of the nature of this transitory period in our Chicano/Latino/Hispanic/Mexican/American existence. It made me realize that this is just a phase. This, too, shall pass. The power of our roots is stronger than the wall that lines our border. Our heritage is more capable than enactments which seek to deny a people’s history and culture. The Chican@ soul transcends the cold stare of a police state which seeks to halt the progress of a people based on the color of their skin.

Although I was beside myself in pain (after having had anesthetic that did little to curtail the unimaginable brutality of foreign hands reaching in to tear out my tooth) this very brief glimpse at the humanity of those tasked to enforce laws which are designed to separate people and families, gave me hope that perhaps they, too, can turn around and see the humanity in those whom they are trained to prey upon, and treat them with the measure of dignity that they deserve. In some small way, it also helped to ease some of the pain I endured after having had a small part of me ripped from my being, and I was no longer whole. Our identities cannot be pulled from us like teeth. They do not rot our mouths, nor do they rot our souls. If allowed to, they can help a people flourish and transcend the matters and the motives which separate us, helping us form a more perfect union for ourselves and for posterity.

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Nuev@ Voces at NACCS National

Posted: April 8, 2013 by conca1 in Uncategorized

naccs

 

Pictured here are members of Nuev@s Voces panel along with an audience member at far right. It was a great experience to receive feedback from audience members as well as their suggestions for possible research.  Some of the difficulties we faced relates to the amount of time we have for the panel. At roughly one hour and 30 minutes it is difficult to review approximately 60 years of Chican@ poetics and also include a detailed description of the last 13 years of new voices emerging within the Chican@ space.

Our presentation focused on the following questions:

  1. Where is the Chican@ movement now?
  2. How did the concept of Nuev@ Chican@ poetics begin?
  3. Who is the Nuev@ Chican@?
  4.  Where is the Nuev@ Chican@ poetics headed

We are working on developing our answers. One of our ideals is that the group  is part of Nuev@ Chican@ poetics, just as many others are; we are not the sole members of this movement.