Introduction: An On-Going Social Practice Project
Latinx: A person of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina)
We often tend to put ourselves in boxes with neat labels, but how do we define Latinx? Is it by the Spanish language or is it by a geographic region of birth? Does it have to do with a family’s customs or the culture in which one is raised? Latinx is all and none of these descriptors. This project aims to deconstruct Latin American identity and will explore different facets of it. LATINX address the issues of cultural loss, colorism, xenophobia, homophobia and misogyny within the culture as well as dismantling the concept of what makes up a "real latino". Customs and culture vary from country to country and our immigrant experiences are not the same. There is a beauty and complexity in our stories of migration.
I’m trying to understand my own lost heritage through my work. Being adopted, there have always been questions, and there is a void there—there’s loss. I‘m trying to navigate my privilege and my cultural “in between-ness.” The reason I don’t speak Spanish differs from a second-generation immigrant whose parents are shamed for their accents. There is a different kind of loss but there’s cultural loss just the same. I’m trying to understand how we all weave together within the diaspora—the common threads of the Latinx identity. I’m posing these questions to the Latinx community, what’s important? How do you identify? What experiences stick out? What makes it real for you? How do you fit in? I often feel like an outsider but in hearing and sharing other's stories I'm seeing that I'm not the only one. I'm building community in our differences and our shared experiences.
There is no one way to define Latinx and to do so would erase a large portion of our identities. We as a community must strive towards more inclusivity, less barriers and to collectively listen to more marginalized voices. It begins with posing the question: What does Latinx mean to you?
This LATINX project seeks community participation and collaboration and currently consists of an evolving visual art exhibition, workshops, artist talks, performance, zines and online elements like the LATINX Survey, Instagram page, and resource library.
- Cristina Ferrigno, 2019
LATINX at The Factory, LIC - May 2018
Curated by Cristina Ferrigno
Featuring work by: