Indigenous [In]Migration on the Great Crocodile Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra (enrolled Xinka-Lenca, El Salvador)
Mixed Media Paper-Cutting
Handmade Paper: cotton & amatl bark paper mix with flecks of screen- printed quetzal
Centers, Places, Home, Belonging, Re-centering, Re-entering, Lost Pieces, Disconnection, Tearing & Repairing, Weaving, Fragile Fabric, Fragile Future, Assimilation, Slow Genocide, Waiting, Waiting, & Waiting for my Relatives.
For Indigenous people in the North, the land is called Turtle Island and Minnesota is in the center of it. For Latin American Indigenous people, the land is a crocodile whose tail stretches all the way to the tip of South America. My experience growing up in Minnesota has been surrounded by silos, not agricultural silos, but cultural silos. My father was born in El Salvador and fled as a refugee during the U.S. sponsored civil war, making me a 2nd generation immigrant, or more confusingly a 2.5 generation indigenous migrant on the once borderless Great Crocodile. Today the land of the Caiman is ripped in half and she bleeds. In Minnesota where Latinx people are not recognized as distinct indigenous nations, I have faced loneliness and grief for the disconnection to my ancestral homeland, relatives, and uncertain legacy. Minnesota is my home and although it is not at the navel of my creation story, I must recenter my story here for the radically hopeful future of my people.