art, artworks, ceramics, Chile, Chilean culture, concept art, Cultura Chilena, Elicura Chihailaf, En este suelo habitan las estrellas, ethnicity, experimental writing, inequality, Latin America, Mapuche, mapuches in chile, Mapudungun, poesia Mapuche, poetry, politics, spanish
The images on this page are original images taken my journal.
This is my original sketch interpreting the poem, ‘En este suelo avitan las estrellas’ by Elicura Chihuailaf.
The stars are growing from the bottom, the ground. The small things hanging from the top are drops of water coming down from the sky. The circular shapes in between the stars and the water drops, are our ancestors.
Here I am translating the Spanish poem to English and at the same time interpreting the meaning of the words.
This a Mind Mapping image. David our teacher told us that there is a software that will help you do mind mapping. It is called: FreeMind and it’s a free mind mapping software.
You can go and read about this here
Mind mapping is such an incredible tool to use. When I started drawing lines, here and there, I began to think of other ideas. Gradually my initial idea was developing.
Another thought I had was that when water evaporates, it turns into clouds and the clouds are our ancestors that are no longer with us because they are dead, but at the same time they are here because they are in the sky as clouds.
My idea has now jumped from being a traditional classical poem to viewing or examining the issues that are affecting the Mapuche people today. In this image I have drawn spoons standing up. These represent the Mapuche people on the earth and they are hungry. They are poor, living in appalling conditions.
This has made me question my ancestors, my family and the people that I know. The poem by Elicura Chihailaf is valid if we lived in a make believe society taken from a fairy tale book. I don’t mean to criticise this great author or the beauty and rich historical value of the Mapuche culture but when I look at my family and where we came from…there is no place, no family record that states that I am Mapuche.
Both of my family surnames are Spanish names; Marin Torres, but I don’t look Spanish.
My family, my relatives and the people I knew in Chile and here in Australia use the word ‘indio’ as a derogative word when referring to the Mapuche people. They might not realise that what they are saying is putting down the Mapuche people. Phrases such as ‘you are showing your feather’ (estas mostrando la pluma) is a direct discriminatory phrase to say that you are acting just like a Mapuche. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
I try and try to understand Chilean society and these terms but the only way to understand it is by knowing that Chile is a society based on your ‘class’. There are the rich white people and poor, darker people. There is no middle class. And the Mapuches are classified by its society as being inferior. What a whole lot of garbage!
I would like to explore these issues in my work. There are a lot of people in Chile who:
- are shame to be known as Mapuche
- The Mapuches are considered as being inferior
- The Mapuches are poor and live under the poverty line, they are unskilled
- Unfairly treated by the government
- They are incarcerated for speaking up for their human rights
- They are incarcerated for protesting
So far I have made these:
These are the water drops. Made from white stoneware recycle clay.
These are the stars. Made from Stoneware recycle clay.