The Rubio’s were proud to be in the U.S. and kept the Mexican culture secretly in the home. On the outside, they Americanized and were thankful for the opportunities the U.S. offered, and as time pasted rooted down in different parts of the country. However, my grandfather refused to become a citizen and refused to speak in English.
Noting, when my Uncle Joe Rubio passed this summer, that my roots and connection to my culture had been severed so quickly. I was shocked to learn that I was only a second generation Mexicana since my family is whitewashed in American culture. I figured that since my family had Americanized that I was at least 4-5 generations in. My response: I am angry that my family assimilated, that I cannot speak my language fluently, and the shame that sometimes comes with being a whitewashed Mexicana. Embody my history and make WORK.
Recognizing barriers back to my native language: My parents spoke both languages in the home, and I grew up speaking both fluently. My time in Texas was fruitful with embedded cultural and historical roots deep into the fabric of my being - problematic as well. However, by my travels, growing up, and not needing to speak or fully communicate left me without anything above an intermediate level. I miss this form of communication deeply. I have anxiety about using my language. While my ears are still able to understand conversations I feel cut off. Part of me is missing.
In moving towards the future, I set out to reconnect my communications in the native tongue, continue to research my roots, embody my Mexicanidad / Chicana identity, and bring forth this community, ritual, and practice to my choreographic makings. I struggle with this idea of representation as an artist and while I seek for myself to discover truths, I don’t want to continue to perpetuate harmful stereotypical art-making.
In my research, I realize the surge of history and connections alive in my body are waiting to be found. The historical body of generations living forward in life itself. I choose to activate these memories, roots, and histories so that I can fully realize the power of ancestry. Life itself is the narrator folding and refolding the story.
With all the questions, insecurities, anxieties I am digging into the works of Gloria E. Anzaldua.
Currently pursuing her book:
Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Fourth Edition