Tuesday, April 18, 2017

El Paso: The Life Force of Mare Advertencia Lirika

Mare Advertencia Lirika, Cafe Mayapan, El Paso, Texas. March 2017.

South Louisiana introduced me to spoken word in a splashy way, via poets with a gift for visceral writing and performance talents.

Being an introverted sort, it knocked me out to see and hear how these artists put their naked selves out there with their creativity.

Mare Advertencia Lirika, Cafe Mayapan, El Paso, Texas. March 2017.

When I saw an upcoming event for a free poetry workshop in El Paso, it was a must-go for me. The workshop title: Poetry and Resistance.

The workshop introduced to me Mare Advertencia Lirika, the workshop leader.

Because the workshop was mostly in Spanish, I didn't follow all of Mare's words - maybe most, even - but I followed enough to know I was in a room with a woman whose life force is galvanic.

Mare Advertencia Lirika, Cafe Mayapan, El Paso, Texas. March 2017.

Mare lives in the city of Oaxaca in Oaxaca state, Mexico. Her family is Zapotec, an indigenous Mexican ethnic group. 

Below is a half-hour documentary about Mare, "When a Woman Comes Forward" (with English subtitles). Mare shares her philosophy about how hip hop gives a voice, not just to individuals, but to the community.

Mare is for speaking out. Her 2013 video (with English subtitles), "What Are You Waiting For (To Tell Your Truth)?"  is a call to action to all women:

"We are the majority only when it comes to statistics."

"Our voice has been taken by other mouths."

Mare is a hip hop artist, a poet, a singer, a human rights activist. In her work, she flashes an unblinking, brilliant light on inconsistencies between the so-called "respect" for women and oppressing them. One graphic illustration is how she notes the societal furtiveness with which girls and women experience menstruation and menstrual blood, but the cavalier display of the blood of murdered women.

Below is a video in which Mare shares the evolution of her creative and social activist evolution in Oaxaca:

Mare is a woman of power. I feel so lucky to have been able to attend her workshop.

With thanks to the folks who contributed to her presence, which included Fronterizas en Resistencia (Border Women in Resistence) and Café Mayapan.

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