September 26, 2020

‘Mita’, the book that makes tangible the memory of women who were not counted or read


“The past serves to remember, never to forget.” To do so would be “to erase part of your essence, which is completely legal, but ends up being a denial of oneself, of why we are as we are.” Claiming what has been lived, the where, the how, to those who took care of us, taught and accompanied us, is the legacy that Miguel Ángel Ruiz Domínguez has wanted to reflect in Mita, published by Sar Alejandría Ediciones. This “small” novel, as its synopsis states, has been her response to the current “cloud” in which there is only room for “a present with an eye toward tomorrow.”

A firm anchor to today, to the expectation for a future we do not know if better, but whose capacity for success is a priori written in verb tenses limited to the future. “This lack of historical sense separates us from the social, both politically and in the most micro sphere of our being,” shares the author, an engineer by training, with elDiario.es. He claims how “knowing our roots, understanding where we come from, helps us situate ourselves, question ourselves and even be more benevolent with our own aspirations.”

To do this, he has put together his traditional text, of landscapes from his native Tenerife, which he describes with so much love and detail, turning reading into a journey. However, she regrets that not all of the environments she grew up in have survived. “The excessive construction”, he criticizes, “rather the real estate speculation has caused that many no longer exist. The description of these spaces with meticulousness tries to remember them, perhaps, for some nostalgia.”

And wrapped in nostalgia and devotion, the real protagonists of Mita they are, however. “All those women who lived without more, on many occasions without any opportunity, dedicated to caring for the rest, and who continue to be mistreated by history,” he exposes about the many mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers who did not enjoy a voice – far from it tribute- in life. To its category it elevates the volcano that reigns on the island. “The novel is about women and I thought that talking about ‘mother Teide’ would make her one more, a silent caretaker more honored in this story,” she says.

Politics of the “simple” and relevance of the identity

On this journey to childhood, not all memories are happy, because its author wanted to capture a reality in which, although hidden, taboos are equally present. Mental disorders, suicide and death are some of them. Also the homophobia that he experienced when he was little. “At less than seven years old, and even without knowing it, he was a fag, a fag, a sissy”, he shared about what that implied, and how “micro-violence spread in the face of diversity.” A social behavior that, unfortunately, continues to be repeated and that as he glimpses in his lines “demonstrates that life is not a carnival, despite the fact that the singer Celia Cruz insisted on trying”. In addition, it highlights how “the reproductions of rejection of what is different are shown as a cruelty of manners that perpetuates hatred.”

Given that we are conditioned by the contexts in which we learn who we are, to what extent is it possible to shape our personality? “Boys and girls are a reflection of what they see and carry the prejudices and speeches that they observe around them,” she replies and adds that “these dissidences make, little by little, you build your identity as a queer out of the closet and. you stop caring what others think. ”

The author argues that he prefers to understand “identity” as “a sum of all parts”. For this reason, he clarifies that, although “labels serve to make visible, make a claim of what oppresses us and create our own discourse; the identity of each one is built through all our experiences beyond a single label.” From this idea draws the clear intention of the text to launch a message that, embraced by environments, conversations and memories, penetrates more.

Likewise, it achieves the way in which this story, articulated by feminism, is narrated. “It has a very simple language so that it reaches the whole world, but the simple does not stop being political,” he defends after several years having bet on his teaching vocation.

Since 2016 he has directed and managed the award-winning educational portal Yo Soy Tu Profe, is a doctorate in education, and has participated in the program We learn at home released by RTVE during confinement. A trajectory that has allowed him to reflect on the way in which we communicate and his reasons. “After several years dedicating part of my time to dissemination, I have seen how many times we write texts from a pulpit, to love ourselves a little more,” he reveals, “even to reinforce our privileged position.” An attitude that implies “completely forgetting about its pedagogical and social character, its true transformative potential.”

Faced with the discourse that rejects materialism, Ruíz Domínguez praises how the tangible is closely related to memory. “There are always happy moments, those that are kept with great affection, that are linked to something material”, he writes in the novel, “and sometimes those moments come from the hand of something tangible. As if the material became the container of many feelings. ”

Containers that we keep as if they were real treasures and that we will never want to part with. Recipients of thoughts that will make us travel to the past, either alone or accompanied by those with whom we share it. For them there is also space in Mita, a story in which there is “fiction” and “a lot of reality”. Ruiz Domínguez considers that “we live looking for the ‘like’ and that precisely because of this” we want to run away with stories that do not respond to our lives. “Something that he has tried to get away from in his pages, given that” telling, sometimes with certain crudeness, the life that has been lived, tries just the opposite, to understand it and to find us subterfuges in which to escape. ”

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