Friday, January 05, 2007
Women of Juárez and beyond
photo of Justicia para nuestras hijas at a march in el paso to juárez last dec.
Check out Amalia Ortiz's excellent short video/poem "Women of Juárez" (click on video link in right hand corner). If you teach, at any level, please consider sharing this video link with your classes this semester to help raise awareness about this important issue. For more information about the murders and for more about organizations that are working to help end the crimes and working with the families of victims, please visit Amigos de las Mujeres de Juárez website.
Some Chicana and Latina authors who have contributed their voices to raising awareness about the murders include Alicia Gaspar de Alba in Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders, Carolina Monsivais's poem "Somewhere Between Houston and El Paso" from her poetry collection by the same name and Marjorie Agosin's Secrets in the Sand: The Young Women of Juárez. Check out these books and I know there are more to come. Some poems in Sheryl Luna's Pity the Drowned Horses and María Meléndez's How Long She'll Last in the World also help raise awareness in addition to beautiful writing throughout. Stella Pope Duarte also has a book in the works and Diana Washington Valdez wrote Harvest of Women: Safari in Mexico which I need to read soon. Cecilia Balli's article Ciudad de la muerte: ten years of murder is available here. Michelle Otero has also written about the murders, and her excellent chapbook Malinche's Daughter, while not specifically about the murders, should be on the reading list to help get the larger converstation going about sexual assault and silence in the mexican and chicana/o cultura and throughout the world.
If your school library does not have a copy of Lourdes Portillo's Señorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman, please try to suggest they order this important documentary.
Also contact Lee Rhyanes for Youth Addressing Justicia, a documentary made by the youth and Lee with ¡Aqui Se Puede! at NMSU. Lee also recorded spoken word poetry by youth on the issue and has written poems on the subject. The students' poems are available on cd and in a poetry/photo chapbook called A Realization of the Truth | A Struggle to Tell.
I'm sure there's more literature out there (and artwork!)... If you know of other poets, fiction writers, artists, journalists' work, please let me know, as I'm always on the lookout for work to share with my classes. There are many academic articles on the subject as well, which are easily found in electronic library databases for those with access. It is important to read the academic articles but I find that poems, stories, and essays are more immediate and effective in community workshops and literature classes.