For generations, Latin women were raised to focus on pleasing your future husband. They were taught how to dress and even how to behave. And while attempting to please the man, little room was left for Latin women to know themselves, their desires and their goals; which eventually led to innumerable failures at love and unhealthy relationships. Even though Latin women today had advanced greatly, especially on the professional field, there’s a long way ahead when walking the journey of love. The search for love nowadays, amidst this information and technology era, it’s not that simple: instant messaging, status updates, social media stalking, dating apps, all these new dynamics reshape constantly the dating experiences and romantic relationships.
Vanessa Q Martin, a businesswoman, artist, and writer, lived most part of her life in Central America and was able to witness how Latin women had many priorities: family life, work, pleasing their parents, their friends, except listening and taking care of themselves. Surprised, Vanessa noticed how these amazing women always put their needs in the last place and how, in many cases, they truly did not what they wanted of life. It was like they lived in autopilot to an unknown destiny, in which misfortunes, especially in love, were frequent in these women’s lives.
And so it was how Vanessa discovered one of her most fulfilling roles: to help Latin women to find themselves, and discover what she calls their own “Mi Norte”, their inner compass which tells them what the really want in life and what steps should they take to reach what fulfill them. Through Art, introspection techniques and self-awareness exercises, Vanessa developed a series of tools that help Latin women to understand themselves and discover their strengths, their true powers to eventually overcome unresolved issues, free themselves from paradigms and fight for what they really want.
“Art as a form of expression is key to self-discovery (or self-awareness)” said Vanessa Q Martin, “The appreciation of the deep desires through self portraits, illustrations, collages and aesthetics values, the Latin women who I helped have discovered their most intrinsic yearnings but also their sadness that for many years did not let them to move forward” exclaimed Vanessa. For her, the information era and the technology offer an amazing opportunity to art for self-discovery and healing. “Technology allows us to have at the reach of our hands an infinite canvas and millions of palettes to color our lives. It is up to us to incorporate and seize art and aesthetic values to express what we really want, fight for it and have a positive impact on our community.”
Here there are some Latin women who, through art, generated positive changes not only to themselves but also to other women and their communities:
Marta Minujín - Argentina
Conceptual and performance artist. Her work challenged the pre-established social norms through conceptual, pop and action art. She creates psychological, political and even environmental pieces. In 1983, she celebrated the return of democracy to Argentina with her work El Partenón de Libros, formed with forbidden books during the military dictatorship.
Paz Errázuriz - Chile
A photographer who documented the life of the street of Santiago City during Chile’s military dictatorship. Through her career, Paz exposed marginalized spaces. Her images portrayed the social and political reality of the dictatorship of Chile. She also developed gender identity matters in her personal works.
María Evelia Marmolejo - Colombia
Sculpture, painter, poet and performance artist who discussed themes such as political oppression, feminism, environment, and socioeconomic issues. Through her work, Marmolejo expresses her frustration of having grown up in a male-dominated society and having an inferior role as a woman. She is able to express her anger and distress of the political turmoil of her country and her own struggles of being a woman.
Margarita Azurdia - Guatemala
She also worked under the pseudonyms Margot Fanjul, Margarita Rita Rica Dinamita, and Anastasia Margarita, and was a feminist Guatemalan sculptor, painter, poet, and performance artist. Azurdia's work reflects her feminist and anti-establishment views. She was responsible for starting a new art movement known as new conceptual abstraction. Her sculptures depict the magic realism from Latin American literature. She defended animal rights and explored the notions of ritual in everyday life, space, and time through the medium of dance.
Margarita Azurdia, Las Bananeras de Homenaje a Guatemala [The banana plantations of Tribute to Guatemala], 1971-1974.
Teresa Burga - Peru
A multimedia artist and precursor of technology-based art. Creator of the project “Perfil de la Mujer Peruana” (Profile of the Peruvian Woman) during 1980 - 1981, which sought to analyze the status of women in Peru taking into account their affective, psychological, sexual, social, educational, cultural, linguistic, religious, professional, economic, political, and legal characteristics and circumstances, and is an example of the second-wave feminism in Latin America.
Judy Baca - Estados Unidos
Chicana artist and activist, director of the mural project that created one of the largest murals in the world, the Great Wall of Los Angeles. Judy used public space to create a public voice, and public consciousness about people who were, in fact, the majority of the population, but who were not represented in any visual way. As a Chicana woman, she wanted to empower women of color and bring the community together in Los Angeles and so she did by illuminating the beauty and power enriched in Chicana culture through public art .
Marisol - Venezuela
Artist and sculptor born in France with Venezuelan Heritage. Marisol through her sculptural works toyed with the prescribed social roles and restraints faced by women during the Postwar period. She also deconstructed the idea of femininity and presented it as a fictional idea imposed by the patriarchy.