May 8, 2016

NI UNA MAS

'Ni Una Mas' is a slogan used by mothers when their slain daughters, victims of Femicide, are found in Ciudad Juárez.  The murder of women, whether in Mexico or other parts of the world, rather than decreasing, is on the increase. I wanted to call attention to this on March 8, International Women's Day, with an art intervention. 


Pink crosses remember the victims of femicide in Ciudad Juárez

Today being Mothers' Day, I decided to write about it. Because it's the MOTHERS who make the pink crosses, who mourn, and who march in the streets, push for legislation, and cry out for justice. These are warrior women, as are the mothers of the 43 students who refuse to stop asking the tough questions.  

Arriving at the Bellas Artes that morning, my friend Emerson Pirot and I carried pink crosses, candles, flowers, and a huipil I had created in 2009, to commemorate  these women.
Ni Una Mas huipil, Lena Bartula, 2009



Along with  Antonio, the ever-helpful groundskeeper, we began to trace a figure in the dirt of the courtyard. 
Then the Ni Una Mas huipil was placed on top of the figure, and we completed the space with the crosses and other things we had brought. As we placed the last pieces, it began to rain, heavily and unseasonably, so much that we had to stop for a few hours. 

 

We watched helplessly as the huipil sank into the rocks that were there to hold it down in the wind. At 4 pm, the sun came out, and some members of Ser Mujer along with other friends, gathered to join us in a small ceremony. Standing in a semi-circle, each of us read aloud a name of one woman from Juárez, plus that of any woman we knew who had been a femicide victim. Due to the rains, we were unable to light a candle, but the spirit of sisterhood, motherhood, and solidarity shone brightly.
Ni Una Mas ceremony at Bellas Artes, International Women's Day 2016
Recently, Annie Leibovitz viewed and photographed a section of the rio with pink crosses in Chimalhuacan.