Loose Tongues in Mesoamerica

The artists Elyla and Purificación exchange dreams and critical notions regarding mestizo identities subjected to the colonial apparatus in Nicaragua and Guatemala, which, in tension with their mariconería, outline artistic practices that make imagining other worlds possible.

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  1. Translator’s note: In Latin America, mestizaje/mestizx is a political identity that can be understood as an ethno cultural syncretism that emerges from the colonial wound.

  2. Translator’s note: A pejorative word used to mock non-heterosexual behavior, which literally means “crazy.”

  3. Cochón is a word used to refer to dissident sexualities and genders in the territory called “Nicaragua”.

  4. Pacificocentric is a political, cultural and economic paradigm established in the sociogenesis of the Nicaraguan. It naturalizes and assumes, under a colonial logic, criollo-pacificocentric cultural imaginaries based on whiteness which envisions a Nicaragua by and for the Pacific region, excluding from the project of nationhood the territorial processes of the Caribbean region. See more: Larry Montenegro Baena, “La estructural espera de los pueblos de la Moskitia. El racismo de la espera,” May 19, 2018, http://montenegrobaena.blogspot.com/2018/05/la-estructural-espera-de-los-pueblos-de.html.

  5. Ladinidad is the colonial term used to refer to the “hispanicized” population in regions of Central America and Chiapas that were not part of the peninsular, criollo or Indigenous economic and political elites. See more: Ronald Soto-Quiros, “Reflexiones sobre el mestizaje y la identidad nacional en Centroamérica: de la colonia a las Repúblicas liberales,” AFEHC, no. 25 (October 2006).

  6. Huequitud is a word used to designate dissident sexualities and genders in the territoriality called “Guatemala”, which literally means “hollow.”

  7. Chontal, according to Nicaraguan and Central American historians, as well as some colonial chroniclers, is a word of Nahuatl origin which can be translated as “foreigner”. The Nicaraos used it to refer to the oldest inhabitants of Nicaragua who possibly came from the Maya Chontal Tabasco or Oaxacan ethnic group. The Chontales were later expelled by the Chorotegas.

  8. Translator’s note: Jotona is another pejorative word used to mock non-heterosexual behavior that is appropriated with a flamboyant connotation.

  9. In October 1997, a group of people marched through the historic center of Guatemala City demanding justice for the murder of María Conchita, a transgender woman killed by two Guatemalan military soldiers. That day was the first time the sexual and gender dissident community took to the streets.

  10. Luis Morales Rodríguez, Niebla Púrpura (Ciudad de Quetzaltenango: Editorial Sión, 2018).


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