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Conversation with Authors Christina Sue & Laura Lewis with Photo Exhibition of “La Costa Chica”
April 4, 2013 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Conversation with Christina Sue, author of Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico and Laura Lewis, author of Chocolate and Corn flour: History, Race, and Place in the Making of ‘Black’ Mexico and photo exhibition of la Costa Chica a new collection by photographer and scholar Wendy Phillips.
Land of the Cosmic Race is a richly-detailed ethnographic account of the powerful role that race and color play in organizing the lives and thoughts of ordinary Mexicans. It presents a previously untold story of how individuals in contemporary urban Mexico construct their identities, attitudes, and practices in the context of a dominant national belief system. The book centers around Mexicans’ engagement with three racialized pillars of Mexican national ideology – the promotion of race mixture, the assertion of an absence of racism in the country, and the marginalization of blackness in Mexico.
Chocolate and Corn Flour explores the history and contemporary culture of African descended Mexicans in the agricultural village of San Nicolás on the southern Pacific Coast of Guerrero (the Costa Chica). Although the village is considered by many to be the “cradle” of Afromexican culture, Lewis finds that few of the inhabitants identify as African or black, instead referring to themselves as morenos, or black Indians.
La Costa Chica photo exhibit explores the communities of “La Costa Chica” along the Pacific coast of Mexico from 1999 to present. The first images of the series were made as Wendy Phillips lived with a girl named Catalina and her family in the town of Juchitan, Guerrero. These images were made with a Holga camera and are silver gelatin prints on fiber.