Federico Cuatlacuatl: Visibility, History & Solidarity
Federico Cuatlacuatl is a Mexican Indigenous artist born in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. Building from his own experience growing up as an undocumented immigrant and holding DACA, he is invested in disseminating topics of Latinx immigration, social art practice, and cultural sustainability. Below, He shares a bit about the inspiration and process for his new mural entitled Senyelistli.
One of the main inspirations driving forth this mural design and process was an emphasis on highlighting and celebrating local communities. This was an opportunity to remind ourselves that we are occupying native American lands and to acknowledge the weight of the historical events that took place in Virginia and the larger region. There was also a very conscious decision to work with local latinx high school students as a means to build local relationships, broaden conversations, and offer this as a platform for visibility. Overall, this was an incredible experience working with latinx youth in Charlottesville and learned much from their personal experiences as immigrants or children of immigrants. It was also inspiring to learn of their initiatives and tremendous efforts they’re investing in their own communities as a latinx club at the Albemarle High School. To me, it was important to keep conversations alive of the local history in regards to native American lands and at the same time complicating these concerns with current politics on immigration tensions. Building solidarity, bringing forth awareness, and having a broader discourse on current issues was at the core of the process in making this mural happen.