• re: Against Modernity (source unknown)

    Thank you so much for the thorough explanation! I agree that there is a common misconception that modernization implies progress. I saw it first in India, also a poverty-stricken nation led by a corrupt government, as the rich built massive enterprises and became richer at the expense of the vast majority. However, I now see a growing discord between modernization, mainly in technology, with social progress in the US. Your work addresses social commentary that is universally valid in this day and age.

    Growing up in the US, I did not know this much about the Mexican Revolution, as it wasn’t taught in my history classes. But seeing as you were also born here also, what sparked your interest in studying Mexico’s history?

    I completely relate to the idea of being seen as an outsider in your own country. I hold American citizenship by birth, speak English without an accent, celebrate all of this country's national holidays, and support the US in the Olympics but somehow it is always the color of my skin that indicates my identity. Nationality is masked by race. I’ve had difficulty with my country not owning me in return. I appreciate that you have embraced your cultural and racial backgrounds instead of veering away from them as a consequence of this struggle.

    • Thanks so much for the compliment about my work!

      Studying Mexico's history was sparked for the very reason that it isn't taught in history classes, as you point out about your educational experience. Conversely, someone might argue that it's not possible to teach every nation's history, or that maybe that's not a priority in US education. But I think that response  evades the notion of History as a narrative and/or erasure. Do we learn about the brutality of colonization and its legacies on First Nations peoples? We somehow begin at the 13 colonies and how they were founded by these nobel men, but never do we talk about them as owners of enslaved Africans. Issues such as these are buried and the notion of progress is espoused creating this idea that these atrocities were necessary and/or justifiable and just not that important.

      Being a first generation Mexican-American was really confusing in this context. I actually internalized a lot of hate about myself as a kid because I picked up on the fact that I was treated differently because of the color of my skin. I think in part this is reflective of the value our society, and by extension our education, places on who and what is normative. Central to my work has always been this dynamic of personal and collective histories.

      Ironically, it was through education when I was much older where I eventually learned in depth about other histories. Because I wasn't taught them I had to go looking for them. I took courses in US History and Mexican and Latin American (M/LAT) studies in community college and I also majored in Ethic Studies at UC Berkeley (along with Practice of Art).


      Thanks so much, I appreciate the questions!