Winter 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 1 Nonfiction |

Embracing My Identity: Reflections on Jorge González Camarena’s Painting El Abrazo

Red comes at me hard. Thoughts of high-pitched screams, sharp abdominal pains, crunching bones, and pierced organs, as a glimmering sword enters a brown body and comes out bloodstained. This being symbolic of Indigenous women on their backs forced to give birth to the Mestizaje, and that in turn symbolizing the rape of Pacha Mamma---Mother Earth---who now bears catastrophes in response to oil drilling, mine excavating, and countless other forms of exploitation. Un abrazo, a hug, is traditionally thought of as a display of affection, an embrace that brings two or more people together, a form of bonding. But was it bonding or bondage that occurred in the Americas when several nations from Europe invaded? Jorge González Camarena's painting El Abrazo brings to mind how Western civilization came into being---helotry. Broken are the pieces of wood on the ground that Camarena paints; broken like the false identity of the people born of the colonization of Indigenous land. Broken l

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