C&AL: Faced with so many obstacles, inequalities, injustices, how do you motivate yourself to continue fighting?
LI: I am part of a collective project, a very old project, so I am doing what corresponds to me and what many others have already done before. I greatly admire the grandmothers of Sepur Zarco, the indigenous women survivors of sexual violence, and I greatly admire my grandmothers and my mother. They are women who have opened their paths for us. This knowledge shelters us, that some of us have to live the night, so that others can live the day. My grandmothers had to keep their silence wo that today I can scream.
C&AL: Could you tell me a little about the exhibition El Pasado Adelante: Muchas somos todxs (The Past Ahead: Many of Us are All)?
LI: I was invited by Gabriel Rodríguez, an architect, just like me, to do a curatorial exercise for the bicentenary of Guatemala’s independence. Our intention was to do it from another perspective, making other realities visible. For us as two people, we found it was important to break with that idea of just one curator. From that notion we built a collective text: the text of the exhibition is an interview that seeks to make these collectivities visible, and together we made a mural of Atanasio Tzul.
C&AL: What are your next projects?
LI: I am starting to put together the initial ideas of what will be an exhibition on exile and the uprooting in which I find myself, as part of a necessary exercise to break the silences that exist regarding this reality that does not end when people are forced out of our territories. It is there that it begins, from an individual and collective view of what this represents. From Festivales Solidarios (Solidarity Festivals) we are also recently setting up a school of indigenous art, music and communication called La Colmena, where we want to collectively put the knowledge that we have acquired in recent years in our work from community cultural management. We have plans to make an itinerant tour of Europe for the defense of the Territory and Mother Earth and we also want to put together a photographic exhibition of the processes that we have documented over the last ten years. We have many dreams, and we are open to those who want to support us to make them come true.
Lucía Ixchíu is a Guatemalan artist with a cross-disciplinary practice that includes music, dance, painting, and cultural management.
Hannah K. Grimmer is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Studies. She researches the relationship between visual arts, social movements, and memory activism.
Translation: Sara Hanaburgh