March 8, 2021

The uniqueness of female migration, analyzed in New York

"Gender violence is especially important to me because it is the reason I moved to the United States." It is the impressive admission with which the Mexican artist Amanda Gutiérrez begins her act, focused on the feminine perspective of migration.

And it is that in their country of origin seven women are murdered every day, as revealed by the UN in 2018, a figure that also reflects the insecurity situation with which the female gender is forced to live in the streets and spaces public

With the intention of reflecting the situations that women must face in public places, while they walk, Gutierrez has produced "The Walker", an audiovisual document with testimonies and images of several women who talk about their fears and the situations that make them feel vulnerable

"In Mexico, walking home after 10 at night I felt very vulnerable and it is one of the reasons I came to the United States. I started to take walks with women and ask them about their experiences because I wanted to know why in some places you feel safer than others, "explains the artist.

The event, held in the New York center La Nacional, where Spanish emigrants used to go for help and which has now been converted into a restaurant and cultural center, is part of a program of four performances by Latin artists entitled "Migrations Feminine. "

Executed throughout this month, it has been devised by the group of curators "Se Habla Español", formed by the Spanish Noelia Lecue France, the Colombian María Alejandra Sáenz García, the Mexican Andrea Valencia Aranda and the Puerto Rican Natalia Viera Salgado.

The program proposes migration from the feminine point of view, not only at present, but the historical and forgotten role of women in this social phenomenon, also comparing it with the masculine one through personal experiences of artists and their works.

Along with "The Walker", "Female Migrations" has the participation of the Venezuelan Esperanza Mayobre, who with her "family Sunday" faces the difficulties of emigrants from their home country, whipped by Chavism, with an invitation to the public to play dominoes and create a space of unity and solidarity.

"It is very difficult for me to talk about Venezuela, so I decided to do a program playing dominoes, to create a meeting point where politics is going to the background, because at the moment everything is too politicized," Mayobre says.

Using the familiarity of dominoes, which in the Caribbean countries and in Venezuela is practiced with friends and family in spare time, the artist wants to underline the importance of community and leisure to set aside politics and the constant negative comments about the immigrants launched by the current US administration.

"It's different when people migrate because they want me to do it because they don't have another one," Mayobre says.

Meanwhile, Ecuadorian Karina Aguilera has been part of "Female Migrations" with the performance "The Perilous Journey of María Rosa Palacios" (The Dangerous Journey of María Rosa Palacios), in a hybrid of documentary and fiction in which she pays tribute to the story of his black great grandmother.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian Simone Couto uses the enormous file of documentation of immigrants from La Nacional, which accumulates more than a century of membership cards – from 1868 to 1995 -, and focuses on those that do not have a photo.

Couto joins these documents with the images of immigrants in New York today, to mix stories and form the biography of a city of migrants in two different periods of history.

Helen cook

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