Lenguas de Fuego
Sexodissident counter-narratives to the colonial wound
Agustin Pérez Rubio
The title of this program, extracted from the founding text of Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004) – for some the birth of queer decolonial studies – reflects the work of the author that challenges the colonial hegemonic powers and renews our struggles. Anzaldúa, woman, chicana, lesbian and mestiza, poet, educator and artist, published in 1987 her now legendary book Borderland/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Her writing, as a political and decolonial tool, denounced the centuries of exploitation, segregation, and violence to which subaltern women were subjected, laying the foundations for what came to be called “border feminism”, reflecting on gender relations, body, race, and class.
Anzaldúa’s book intersects and expands the notions of geographical and linguistic borders. In this way, their language is also their body and their border identity, questioning both sexual and national identities. For her, the subjects at the border lack identity and place, highlighting the marginalization and oppression to which these bodies have been historically and socially subjugated until today.
These territories/bodies exist as a third space between the established entities. The border of Anzaldúa is a critique of mixed-race essentialism, rejecting pure and univocal values.
The five artists included in this programme speak from a border gender-generic diversity in languages of fire, refusing to be silenced again. They question and dismantle the ways of thinking and doing produced by the colonial historical discourse, which objectified attitudes, bodies, and cultures. They show with anger and irony, but also with sincerity, the psychological, physical, and imaginary sufferings that colonial hegemony erased, stigmatized, and oppressed with its psycho-scientificist medicalization, its epistemic racism, its divergent sexogenic phobia, its monotheistic conservatism.
The works of these artists question the theories that hid behind all these actions, along with the transmission of values that led to the creation of many of our practices, ranging from the psychological to the corporeal and from the terrestrial to the symbolic, to achieve an emancipation and agency of this notion of border.
Western European culture has programmed us to be machines at the service of patriarchy, perpetuating the colonial logics that are imposed on our Cartesian thinking, and, consequently, continuing its institutional and endemic racism. It is difficult for Europeans to put ourselves in the humble position of those who listen and act as cultural intermediaries, and not in the colonial position of the holders of knowledge.
It is urgent to stop naming the white cisheteropatriarchal parents of our mental and academic culture. And to not involve our name in an economic and symbolic space created by them. To review our powers and ways of acting in our praxis. To put aside the aberrant machismo of Freudian psychology and replace it with other modes of communal production of knowledge and spiritualities. To realize that these dissident bodies from history and its colonizing attitude are thirsty for a collective conspiracy, putting a stop to the sanctification of modernity as a process of colonial transmission, destined to promote a necropolitics, where the museum is only a mausoleum that keeps under its thumb the lives of the people that it continues to subject physically and symbolically. These works appeal to an ethical posture in which waiting is not an option to heal and repair all these colonial traumas.
Agustin Pérez Rubio