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.


Anonymous said...

Emmy thank you for posting this up. I'm going to show Amalia Ortiz work to the students this Saturday. I got the Def Poetry Jam dvd's too so I'll look her up on there. her bio said she made a few appearances. I just rented the Lourdes Portilla Senorita Extraviada doc. out here in LC and I was also recommended from the librarian a documentary called City of Dreams The Disappearing Women of Juarez prod. by Gianfranco Norelli. I wrote down several resources/books and videos from the symposium last year that we did the documentary on and I'll pass those to you. I'm hoping soon to finally have more copies available. Again, thank you for this post!!! I'll forward these resources to others. Peace!

Here are two other links with some info:

Local | Juarez Femicide:

Global | Justicia para las mujeres:

Emmy said...

Thanks for all the info, Lee! I'm gonna check out that documentary and the links. I forgot to mention another excellent documentary in Spanish (with English subtitles) called “Batalla de las cruces” by Pati Revelo

Also, I found some more documentary recs on the Amigos site, "Preguntas sin Respesta" and "Performing the Border"

I also forgot to mention that I do not recommend the feature film "The Virgin of Juarez"... saw it this fall and unfortunately it's not very good - was hoping it would be better.

I am so impressed with the poem about the women by one of your students on the new cd you gave me. It is an amazing testament to the power of young voices concerned about the issue and more.

Thanks again, -E.