All liberatory movement depends on resistance. The most effective forms of resistance are nourished by regular contact with popular archives—books, pamphlets, workshops, conversations with elders, meetings, skillshares, talks by historians, report-backs by frontline fighters—as well as by immersion in largescale repositories like physical libraries and archives. The archives that best lend themselves to praxis, however, have always been mobile. Chicana por mi Raza (CPMR) is one such unfixed, borderless resource. In the words of the CPMR crew:
[T]he Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective is a hybrid archive, museum, and digital curriculum organized around capturing important Chicana and Latina voices from the long Civil Rights Era. Chicana por mi Raza […] is first and foremost an oral history project with over 150 oral histories, as well as over 5000 digitized supporting archival records. CPMR has also been integrated into courses nationally, both in a traditional primary resource capacity, but also as a dynamic pedagogical strategy. This site showcases student-created curations, a selection of digitized records, and more information about how you can access the full digital archive by joining the Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective.
On Friday, February 17, we have an opportunity to hear a conversation between CPMR’s Maria Cotera and filmmaker Nancy De Los Santos, in conjunction with De Los Santos’s exhibit Chicana Fotos.
In Chicana Fotos, an exhibit of evocative photographs taken in the 1970s, we meet a very different Nancy: a woman armed with a camera, capturing historic events in the struggles for social justice of the time. Nancy’s photographs of Chicano Movement marches and rallies, farmworker mobilizations in Chicago and Texas, and Latina organizing in the Midwest and internationally offer a priceless documentary view of Latina/o politics the 1970s. Her more intimate pictures of everyday Latina/o life capture what it was like to live through a period of radical social transformation. The exhibit includes rare photographs of UFW organizing activities in Chicago, the Texas Farmworker Pilgrimage of 1977, and the first ever International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City in 1975. These images are supplemented by never-before-exhibited documents from the Walter P. Reuther UFW Collection.
The conversation will take place at 12:00 p.m. in the Woodcock Conference Room, Walter P. Reuther Library, 5401 Cass Avenue, Detroit. The show’s opening reception begins at 4:00 p.m. the same day—spread the word!