Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hoy

Hoy mis gotas de sudor cayeron en su piel morena
Las rasguñas de mi azada acariciaron y curaron sus heridas

Hoy sembré en ella semillas de liberación
Mañana cosecharan la comida de un nuevo amanecer

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cuentos de la otra comida

Today I spoke to a dear compañera of mine, Ramona, who recently began a series of after school workshops promoting health to mostly Latina/Xicana mothers at a high school on the East-side. She shared with me that in her first workshop she discussed the direct relationships between the over consumption of fast foods, meats and dairy products to obesity and diabetes (among other colonial diseases) that these mothers’ and their hij@s suffer from. The workshop quickly turned into an open critical-reflective dialogue amongst her and the madres. While the conversation is still fresh in mind, I thought to pass on these brief testimonios, as i recall them, with the intent to learn from these wombyn's comidas:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mi otro grito

Tamales sin manteca
500, 200, 100, 25 y 15 años después...sigo siendo libre
Tamales con papa y chile verde
El 16 de Septiembre
Tamales sin manteca
Porque no soy machista
Tamales con nopales
Tampoco nacionalista

Tamales sin manteca
Descolonizando Aztlan
Tamales con champiñones
Mi comida es rebeldía!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

decolonizing tonanztins

indigenista xicanista
decolonizing food ways
healing the wombyn nation
spreading semillas day by day

patriarchal oppressions
raping la madre tierra, my body, aztlan
femicide, genocide
colonial disease: cardiovascular, cancer, obesity and diabetes

Monday, April 13, 2009

To my brothers claiming and seeking a "decolonized mind"

To my brothers claiming and seeking a “decolonized mind:"

So far Decolonial Food for Thought has explained how colonial diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity are connected to meat and processed-based food diets. But I feel that it is crucial to share how plant-based foods challenge patriarchy and machismo. As a man who is activily seeking ways to de-program myself from patriarchal ways of thinking and acting, embracing and promoting plant based food-ways has provided me with a strong path of rebellion against these colonizer ways of disrespecting the Wombyn Nation. I’m not implying that I have fully de-programmed my internalized patriarchy. But unlike many of my brothers, I can look anyone in the eye and honestly tell them that I am not contributing or participating in the violent rape, perpetual violation and exploitation of the brown female earth and brown female body. This posting is particularly directed towards our brothers who speak about “decolonizing the mind” while continuing to eat massed-produced meats and dairy products. Brothers, your food ways speak of a total disrespect to Wombyn Nation-females, animals and Mother Earth. Your food ways are rooted in the same ideas and justification used by the European invaders who came here to exploit, violate and rape the Wombyn Nation for capital gains and power.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reclaiming the Kitchen Place as Space and Bodily Senses

La cocina, a place of oppression or liberation? This is an interesting question because few will argue, particularly modern day feminists, that the kitchen place is feminized, therefore, oppressive. However, I challenge this notion.

In the kitchen, I do not feel oppressed but liberated, for I reclaim the kitchen place as my kitchen space. Let me elaborate...socially, it has been determined that wombyn have specific gendered roles and one included places her in the kitchen. This means that the kitchen as place is were she prepares meals, cooks, and cleans for her husband and/or immediate and extended family and friends. In the kitchen as place she has no palabra, is passive, and some may say, enslaved. Now, my kitchen is not a place but a space. Meredith E. Abarca author of Voices in the Kitchen calls what I am describing here a borderland boundary zone. Meaning that the kitchen becomes a sacred space within the patriarchal, capitalistic notion of kitchen as a wombyn's place. In other words, I reclaim my kitchen as a space of liberation.

In my sacred space, la cocina, I prepare foods that will nourish the human mind, body and spirit. As opposed to foods that will cultivate into toxicity or disease. In my kitchen as space, I dance, sing, burn sage, collectivise with community, send messages of resistance, engage in critical reflection, fall in love and most importantly, heal. In the kitchen I am a curandera, Tonanztin, a Xicanista.

Food alone is a carrier of palabra. It has many messages rooted in truth which I will explain. The scientific patriarchal culture has determined that ultimate truth is an objective truth which is a phenomenom that occurs as a result of our "higher senses." These senses have been associated with sight and sound or eyes and ears. As objectified senses these are so called masculine, therefore, superior. On the opposite end you have the "primitive" or "lower senses" that have been feminized known as touch, taste and smell. According to social-scientists these are subjective senses or bodily senses which do not contribute to what is truth.

Now, I feel, therefore I know so as a Xicana cocinera I reject this dualism and appreciate the message of truth that manifests through food ways. It communicates by stimulating all of our/my senses: sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Eating and the social messages delivered stimulates and activates our acute sensory way of knowing. Kitchen as space is liberating and a place to receive empowerment.

In my kitchen space I am most enlightened. I become one, whole, completa...

A Word on...Cocina Popular de Aztlan...a Plant Based Catering Cooperative

This proyecto in rebellion exposes an intricate trenza of colonization by honoring food as a carrier of palabra. Nuestra plant-based foods embody social messages of resistance against the occupation of our bodies, our Aztlan, by patriarchal, imperialist U.S. food traditions and diseases.

Rooted in indigenismo, food as palabra has its own story of conquest and struggle. Yet, it speaks of liberacion y descolonizacion by asking us to remember, remember our food ways--Living in harmony with all of our communities, our relations by honoring and not exploiting or abusing: Land, Animals and Humans. 

In an attempt to promote the recuperation of pre-colonial food ways, currently, we are developing interactive workshops, resources and tools to decolonize food ways as a means to heal our community—people, plants, animals and Mother Earth. These projects are financially supported by our catering services. 

Our food costs are fiscally lower than most colonial food service industries due to strict use of non-dairy, non-animalized products (which continue to sky-rocket in price and keep our community in unhealthy conditions). We also avoid the unseen costs the dominant food systems fail to take into account such as: the environmental and biodiversity destruction caused by animal farming, psychological and exploitative conditions of workers who process and package animalized and feminized proteins (milk, cheese, eggs & female animal bodies), can health care costs to heal ill bodies infected by food related diseases. 

We are currently in the process of building relationships with local natural food growers as part of our solidarity efforts with the CIW and the South Central Farm.