In the Galleries: Representations of Migration

In her book Borderlands/La Fontera: The New Mestiza (1987), Chicana theorist, scholar, and poet Gloria Anzaldúa states that “The U.S.-Mexican border es una herida abierta [an open wound] where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds.” The U.S.-Mexico border has long been a place where life and death decisions are made in the name of a better life. Students in SP254: Aquí Estamos: Latinx in the 20th and 21st Centuries engaged with ways that representations of migration in the Retablos both challenge and reify racialized, gendered, and class narratives of people crossing the border. In engaging with these Retablos students were asked to explore the different ways in which the various mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters represented in the art put into question ideas of belonging in the U.S. The students’ interpretations reveal the complicated reality of the open wound that is the U.S.-Mexico border.

-Nicolás Ramos Flores, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Students recorded their interpretations of Retablos in the Colby Museum’s exhibition Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States. Navigate through the playlist by selecting a video from the drop-down menu on the upper right side of the frame: