Temazcalli :: crying, bleeding and the psychopolitics of water, womb and woman @ Decolonizing Birth Conference, Brooklyn NY
September 23, 2016 @ 8:00 am - September 25, 2016 @ 5:00 pm UTC+0| $45 – $375
This conference is going to be amazing and I am honored to be participating. Here is the abstract for the paper I will be presenting:
Temazcalli :: crying, bleeding and the pscyho-politics of water, womb and woman
This essay traces the psycho-political properties of water as witnessed at the intersection of water womb and woman in my performed re-search journey of re-membering the Mexican Indigenous sweat house, the Temazcalli. It is also a personal and process-based contemplation on three Mexica Goddesses, Cihuacóatl, Tlaltecuhtlé, and Xochiquetzal, not as “traditional elements” per se, but as starting points for Indigenous epistemic and ontological recovery of the non-binary holistic dualism that contests heteropatriarchical systems of knowledge production. I offer a contextualized performative emergence of the neo-Indigenous, or Indiginist, Temazcalli where I explore water, womb and woman as a decolonial and (re)Indignenizing process of healing trauma in a global age of colonization and genocide. Drawing, and building, on the work of Susy Zepeda in “Queer Xicana Indigena Cultural Production: Remembering though oral and visual storytelling” and others, I employ the methodology of dream-time, body as earth, elder epistemology, writing from the margins and de-centering Eurocentric cognitive imperialism. I also draw on embodied and community embedded interpretations of traditional culture and story as articulated by Leanne Simpson as Biskaabiiyang in “Land as Pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellions transformation” as well as a methodology of refusal that reverses the Eurocentric gaze on water, land and people and directs it back at the perpetrator as a creative artist/activist subversion. This reversal ultimately segues into a borderland approach that includes psychoanalytic interpretations, in particular Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands and Light in the Dark, as well as Anne Waters’ Indigenous philosophy, to offer a model for decolonizing water, womb and woman as it relates to radical creative subversion of colonial patriarchy. This article uses the place where blood, tears and milk emerge within the body of woman and earth (temazcalli) to propose a theoretical framework and methodology for considering the larger context of the psycho-politics of water. I argue that the emergent decolonial-feminist psycho-politics of water re-members grief, wounds and relationships within a dynamic holistic dualism rather than the repetitive discursive frameworks of market scarcity, supply and demand, evidence-based models, technological solutions and national security that perpetuates the current colonial center of rupture and slow violence.