New documentary ‘Being Both’ explores mixed-race identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Mexico, United Kingdom on 2019-04-29 16:24Z by Steven

New documentary ‘Being Both’ explores mixed-race identity

METRO.co.uk
2019-04-29

Natalie Morris, Senior lifestyle Writer

The UK’s fastest-growing ethnic group is comprised of anyone with parents who have two of more different ethnicities – and the varieties within that group are almost endless.

The realities of being mixed-race are unique and often overlooked in mainstream narratives, but documentary maker Ryan Cooper-Brown wants to change that. His new short documentary film Being Both tackles issues that directly relate to the mixed-race experience, from displacement and family conflict to racism and fetishisation.

But the film is also brimming with hope and shines a light on the many positives that come with having mixed heritage.

The eight-minute film condenses a series of compelling stories from the mixed-race community. It is an intimate and uplifting short that captures the shared challenges, emotions and histories of mixed-race people from the UK, Denmark, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Germany and Japan

Read the entire article here.

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Taxing Blackness: Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2019-03-25 13:59Z by Steven

Taxing Blackness: Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain

University of Alabama Press
February 2019
312 pages
9 B&W figures / 3 maps / 23 tables
Trade Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8173-2007-2
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8173-9220-8

Norah L. A. Gharala, Colonial Latin Americanist and Assistant Professor of World History
Georgian Court University, Lakewood, New Jersey

A definitive analysis of the most successful tribute system in the Americas as applied to Afromexicans

During the eighteenth century, hundreds of thousands of free descendants of Africans in Mexico faced a highly specific obligation to the Spanish crown, a tax based on their genealogy and status. This royal tribute symbolized imperial loyalties and social hierarchies. As the number of free people of color soared, this tax became a reliable source of revenue for the crown as well as a signal that colonial officials and ordinary people referenced to define and debate the nature of blackness.

Taxing Blackness:Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain examines the experiences of Afromexicans and this tribute to explore the meanings of race, political loyalty, and legal privileges within the Spanish colonial regime. Norah L. A. Gharala focuses on both the mechanisms officials used to define the status of free people of African descent and the responses of free Afromexicans to these categories and strategies. This study spans the eighteenth century and focuses on a single institution to offer readers a closer look at the place of Afromexican individuals in Bourbon New Spain, which was the most profitable and populous colony of the Spanish Atlantic.

As taxable subjects, many Afromexicans were deeply connected to the colonial regime and ongoing debates about how taxpayers should be defined, whether in terms of reputation or physical appearance. Gharala shows the profound ambivalence, and often hostility, that free people of African descent faced as they navigated a regime that simultaneously labeled them sources of tax revenue and dangerous vagabonds. Some free Afromexicans paid tribute to affirm their belonging and community ties. Others contested what they saw as a shameful imposition that could harm their families for generations. The microhistory includes numerous anecdotes from specific cases and people, bringing their history alive, resulting in a wealth of rural and urban, gender, and family insight.

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Comparing Ideologies of Racial Mixing in Latin America: Brazil and Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2019-01-12 01:55Z by Steven

Comparing Ideologies of Racial Mixing in Latin America: Brazil and Mexico

Sociologia & Antropologia
Volume 8, Number 2: (May/August 2018)
pages 427-456
DOI: 10.1590/2238-38752017v824

Graziella Moraes Silva, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)
Geneva, Switzerland; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Emiko Saldivar, Continuing Lecturer
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Barbara

By the end of the twentieth century, with the rise of multicultural discourses and identity politics, Latin American ideologies of racial mixture had become increasingly denounced as myths that conceal (and thus support) the reproduction of racial inequalities. These studies have largely been guided by comparisons between countries with widespread racial mixing (usually Brazil, Mexico or Colombia) and countries in which it was less encouraged and visible (most commonly, the USA). In this paper we move the focus to the diverse ways in which racial mixture currently impacts racial formations in the Latin America, looking initially at Brazil and Mexico, two of the largest countries in the region, and also those with the largest Afro-descendent and indigenous populations in the continent. For comparison, we analyze survey data from the PERLA project.

INTRODUCTION

Academic interpretations of racial mixing in Latin America, particularly in the North American literature, underwent a radical change during the second half of the twentieth century.1 After World War II, ‘Latin American miscegenation’ was seen as an alternative to ethnic and racial exclusions that had triggered the Jewish holocaust and had been a source of violent conflicts in the United States during the Jim Crow era and in South African apartheid during the 1950s and 1960s. But by the end of the twentieth century, with the rise of multicultural discourses and identity politics, Latin American ideologies of racial mixture became increasingly denounced as myths that conceal (and thus support) the reproduction of racial inequalities (e.g. De la Cadena, 2000; Hanchard, 1994).

These studies have largely been guided by comparisons between countries with widespread racial mixing (usually Brazil, Mexico or Colombia) and countries in which it was less encouraged and visible (most commonly, the USA). Such comparisons have largely contributed to a better understanding of miscegenation as an ideology that allowed racial inequalities to remain more invisible in the Latin American context throughout most of the twentieth century (e.g. Telles, 2003 and Knight, 1990). More recently, a number of authors have also stressed the influence of Latin American ideas of miscegenation in the transformation of racial inequalities in the United States, a phenomenon that has been labeled the Latin Americanization of American race relations (e.g. Bonilla-Silva, 2004). Exploring this comparison, these studies have usually treated racial mixture as a coherent ideology shared across the region.

In this paper we propose to shift the focus onto the diverse ways in which racial mixture currently impacts racial formations in the region. Empirically, we turn our gaze to Brazil and Mexico, two of the largest countries in Latin America, and also those with the largest Afro-descendant and indigenous populations in the continent. As in most countries in the region, ideologies of racial mixture were instrumental to the construction of their national identity: first as a strategy for whitening (Stepan, 1991) and later as tools for assimilation (e.g. Freyre, 1946, and Gamio, 2010). Today, ideas of racial mixing remain central in both Brazil and Mexico, but racial politics are significantly different. Brazil has increasingly seen black (pretos) and brown (pardos) people join forces to address racial inequalities, arguing that mixed pardos are in similar conditions to blacks. Mexico, by contrast, still advocates the benefits of racial mixture, avoiding the discussion of race and racial inequalities on the grounds that most of the population is mixed.

Our paper unfolds as follows: first we explore the role of racial mixing in the nation building processes in Brazil and Mexico. We emphasize the similarities in the ways in which this idea has been articulated in the two countries historically, but also the important differences, something often overlooked in the literature. Next, turning to PERLA data (presented in our methods section), we discuss how these differences have created distinct perceptions of racial identification in Brazil and Mexico, focusing on three dimensions: (1) the relationship between racial identification and skin color, (2) the relationship between racial mixture and cultural differences, and (3) the impact of racial mixture on ethnoracial inequalities.2 We conclude by stressing the need for more comparative studies between Latin American countries in order to better understand the diversity of mestizaje projects and their differential impacts in the region…

Read the entire article here.

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Mexico’s overlooked black communities are given a voice in this social realist drama

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Videos on 2018-08-03 01:45Z by Steven

Mexico’s overlooked black communities are given a voice in this social realist drama

Afropunk
2018-08-01

Eye Candy


LA NEGRADA trailer from TIRISIA CINE on Vimeo.

A project by Mexican filmmaker Jorge Pérez Solano, “La Negrada” is a social realist drama that examines an overlooked sector of Mexico’s populace, its Black people, which include descendants of enslaved people brought to Mexico, among others. According to Variety, this is the first fictional film about Afro-Mexicans.

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Works Progress Austin: Casta by Adrienne Dawes

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, United States on 2018-07-24 22:00Z by Steven

Works Progress Austin: Casta by Adrienne Dawes

Salvage Vanguard Theater
110 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
2018-07-21

  Photo by Bonica Ayala. Pictured Jesus valles, Tarik Daniels, Linzy Beltran
Photo by Bonica Ayala. Pictured Jesus valles, Tarik Daniels, Linzy Beltran

Salvage Vanguard Theater invites you to attend a staged reading of Casta by Adrienne Dawes, presented as part of Works Progress Austin. Launched in 2006, Works Progress Austin (WPA) provides playwrights with the resources they need to bring their work to life. Works Progress Austin has featured new works by Caridad Svich, Dan Dietz, and Sibyl Kempson.

WPA: Casta by Adrienne Dawes
Aug 24 @ 7:30pm | Aug 25 @ 4 and 7:30pm
ARTIST TALK after the 4pm performance August 25th.

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that grew in popularity over the 18th century in Nueva España/colonial Mexico. The paintings depicted different racial mixtures arranged according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites…

Read the entire article here.

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Mexico’s Color Line and the Cultural Imperialism of Light-Skin Preference

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2018-05-28 23:27Z by Steven

Mexico’s Color Line and the Cultural Imperialism of Light-Skin Preference

Truthout
2018-05-26

Roberto Rodriguez, Associate Professor in Mexican American Studies
University of Arizona

A busy street in Mexico City. (Photo: Getty Images)
A busy street in Mexico City. (Photo: Getty Images)

The color of the people of Mexico is one of the things that had a most profound effect on my psyche when I first visited the place of my birth in 1976 at the age of 22. The people came in all colors, though primarily different shades of red-brown, owing to the nation’s Indigenous roots.

Having grown up in a white-dominant society, it was an affirmation of my own brown skin color, in sharp contrast with the artificial color of official Mexico. I was used to seeing government bureaucrats and those that graced the nation’s television screens with light skin, bleached blond hair and artificial blue or green eyes.

The truth is, more than 40 years later, the nation’s color line has seemingly not changed much at all. When I first noticed this preference for light skin in Mexico, it was present at every turn and every corner. It wasn’t just a case of difference, but also disdain. Apparently, all things that were light were “good” and all things dark were “bad.” This was especially true of television. White or light skin was preferred for virtually every role, except the ones for the subservient, demeaning and outlaw roles…

Read the entire article here.

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Works Progress Austin (“Casta” by Adrienne Dawes)

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-12-04 04:46Z by Steven

Works Progress Austin (“Casta” by Adrienne Dawes)

Salvage Vanguard Theater
1110 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
Telephone: (512) 474-7886
2017-12-22, 20:00-21:30 CST (Local Time)

Casta a new play by Adrienne Dawes

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that organized racial mixtures of the New World according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites. How do Old World anxieties about ambiguous racial identity reflect contemporary biases?

This is the third WPA workshop for Casta. In this current draft of Casta, the creative team is incorporating puppetry, expanding music by composer Graham Reynolds and exploring bilingual text. After a week of developing these new elements, audiences are invited to witness the piece in its current form.

For more information, click here.

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How Anti-Chinese Propaganda Helped Fuel the Creation of Mestizo Identity in Mexico

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-11-27 01:56Z by Steven

How Anti-Chinese Propaganda Helped Fuel the Creation of Mestizo Identity in Mexico

Remezcla
2017-06-13

Freddy Martinez
Brooklyn, New York


Chinese Mexican pilgrims march to the Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico’s holiest shrine. Courtesy of Pilar Chen Chi.

Like most revolutions, the one Mexico fought at the beginning of the 20th century was brutal. Over a million people, both civilian and revolutionaries alike, died in the span of ten years. And although, by its end, a new constitution guaranteeing indigenous civil rights was enacted, life was still no better: assassination, disease, and violence left the Mexican state nearly ruined.

Yet even the bloodiest revolution has its icons. Mexico’s quintessential revolutionaries, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, have become so recognizable today that it’s easy to take their politics at face-value and romanticize what they fought for. Jason Oliver Chang, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, wants to change that. Speaking in late May at the Museum of Chinese in America, he gave a lecture prepared from his most recently published book, Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940.

Uncovering the forgotten history of anti-Chinese propaganda and violence documented in the years around the revolution, the book reads like a dossier of state secrets. In one chilling example, you’ll read how Pancho Villa gave orders to execute 60 Chinese prisoners by throwing them down a mineshaft. Magonistas, along with many other revolutionary parties on the left and right, used antichinismo — anti-Chinese rhetoric and policy making — to popularize their own movements. But those incidents pale in comparison to the massacre that occurred in Torreón, Coahuila, during one of the first battles of the revolution. There, 303 Chinese men, women, and children were killed — some even butchered — by both civilians and soldiers, marking the bloodiest incident of anti-Chinese violence ever recorded in the Americas

Read the entire article here.

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Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2017-11-27 01:09Z by Steven

Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940

University of Illinois Press
April 2017
278 pages
6.125 x 9.25 in.
12 black & white photographs, 2 line drawings, 7 maps, 2 tables
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04086-3
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08234-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-252-09935-9

Jason Oliver Chang, Assistant Professor of History and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

The politics of racial difference amid the tumult of modern Mexican history

From the late nineteenth century to the 1930s, antichinismo–the politics of racism against Chinese Mexicans–found potent expression in Mexico. Jason Oliver Chang delves into the untold story of how antichinismo helped the revolutionary Mexican state, and the elite in control of it, build their nation.

As Chang shows, anti-Chinese politics shared intimate bonds with a romantic ideology that surrounded the transformation of the mass indigenous peasantry into dignified mestizos. Racializing a Chinese Other became instrumental in organizing the political power and resources for winning Mexico’s revolutionary war, building state power, and seizing national hegemony in order to dominate the majority Indian population. By centering the Chinese in the drama of Mexican history, Chang opens up a fascinating untold story about the ways antichinismo was embedded within Mexico’s revolutionary national state and its ideologies.

Groundbreaking and boldly argued, Chino is a first-of-its-kind look at the essential role the Chinese played in Mexican culture and politics.

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“We Are Not Used to People Thinking We Are Beautiful”

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-06-08 00:49Z by Steven

“We Are Not Used to People Thinking We Are Beautiful”

The New Yorker
2017-06-02

Jonathan Blitzer


Photograph by Cécile Smetana Baudier

It was a toothache that brought the Franco-Danish photographer Cécile Smetana Baudier to Costa Chica, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. She was in Oaxaca at the time, for a project on women’s fashion, when she visited a dentist with a special reputation among cash-strapped local photographers. He accepted payment in the form of photographs. His waiting room, in Oaxaca City, was like a gallery, with framed images along the walls and piles of art books cascading over tables. There, just before getting a molar pulled, Baudier came across a series of photos of reedy men with fishing rods and nets, lolling in boats and along the banks of lagoons. She was surprised, given the fact that the men were black, to learn that the photographs had been taken in Mexico, in the remote southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero. It was the first time she had ever seen images of Afro-Mexicans, and she decided to try to contribute some of her own. A few weeks later, she set out for El Azufre—a secluded coastal fishing village with a large Afro-Mexican population—where she spent five weeks living in a tent pitched on the front yard of an acquaintance’s house.

The African presence in Mexico dates back to the early sixteenth century, when Spanish conquistadors and colonialists arrived; with them came the slave trade. As many as two hundred and fifty thousand African slaves were transported Mexico, according to academic estimates*. At the turn of the nineteenth century, ten per cent of the population had African origins, but Mexican independence ignited a new national dialogue that downplayed race and elevated, instead, the idea of common citizenship. Even though some of the country’s most iconic freedom fighters and early politicians had African roots, their accomplishments fed a celebration of the broader mestizo culture. The history of Afro-Mexicans ever since has been one of erasure and marginalization. Today, there are 1.4 million citizens of African descent in Mexico, but the government did not recognize them officially until a 2015 census count…

Read the entire article here.

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