Video from the Intercambio: Highlights
Intercambio Highlights is what I like to think of as a trailer. It’s a peek into what will blossom in the other videos. The video opens with comrades, sisters in this work, Sarah Curtiss and Wakumi Douglas singing the Women’s Warrior song. While it’s just a quick shot of the two, it lays the groundwork for the kind of partnership that is possible both throughout the Americas and especially in the U.S., where many nations and pueblos live. I get a similar feeling when I see images of Womxn of Color organizers connecting and building across race, geography, and language throughout the videos.
A little later, Rosalina Tuyuc, a Maya Kaqchikel human rights activist, welcomes us and each of our energies to Comalapa. Rosa Chávez, the Guatemala Program Coordinator from JASS, narrates the importance of places like Comalapa in Chimaltenango. Rosa’s voice guides us through the “Paisajes de Memorias,” (or Landscapes of Memory). It reminds me of Taja Lindley’s work, “The Bag Lady Manifesta,” an installation and participatory performance ritual where Taja’s tagline is “Re-membering is the responsibility of the living.” (You can find clips from her performance here.)
And that theme continues to grow as we see glimpses of: elder Maya womxn who maintain and care for the Paisajes de Memorias memorial; Laura Zúniga Cáceres, Berta Cáceres’ daughter; comrades singing in Berta’s honor; Nikte Caal, a young activist speaking about her and her father’s work as defenders of their land; and Black womxn from across the diaspora laying hands on Dilcia Centeno, a Garifuna comrade from Honduras. Making it their responsibility to (Re)Member – Is that not what the living are doing in these moments? Openly practicing and holding ritual in Maya languages less than three decades after the armed internal conflict. Remembering to remain indignant in the face of impunity. Remembering the joy and fire that a mother and comrade -now ancestor- sparked in us. Nikte, using her voice and activism to recall memories and lessons of her father who is now a political prisoner. Re-membering across cracks in our memories and forced separation that we, African descendants, are mirrors to each other. The Intercambio Highlights serves as a peek into all of the goodness we were able to experience, learn, and grapple with.
My questions to you are:
- What is possible when Black and Indigenous leaders come together across nations and borders? How might this work be done even when we don’t travel internationally?
- What is possible when African descendants are welcomed as peers into the work of Indigenous movements for land defense, self-determination, and liberation?
- What could you/your organization be doing to actualize these possibilities?
- What rituals of (re)membering are you bringing into your work practices?