"Three of Tule: Entangle me with your roots and once and for all make me come home"
Staurus (The Crab's Back) Natalia Toledo
The first home a mother's womb. The last, the silence of the grave. Home shapes me but I also shape my home.
How to inhabit a body when its shape does not correspond to the sexuality felt without its transfiguration?
Create destroying. Destroy creating. How to inhabit the world without its transfiguration?
After the September 7th. 2017 earthquake and the severe damage caused in Juchitan de Zaragoza Oaxaca, an urgent question arose:
What to tear down and what to preserve?
With the help of an ill informed initiative from the government and the eternal promise of a better life, the construction companies bulldozed entire communities destroying their heritage and leaving a void in the collective memory forever. This was the case in Ixtlaltepec, where they practically lost the totality of Bajareques, the traditional Zapotec home built with local materials using the vernacular system of the region. Under these circumstances and after almost thirty years of absence from my country, I returned to Juchitan looking through the rubble without knowing what I would find. Yoo Gunaa (woman / home in Zapotec) is the result of this trip, and of my humble effort to preserve, through the photographs here presented, the complexity of a Zapotec culture currently balancing between memories of adobe and dreams of concrete while holding tight to its umbilical cord.
M.Guillén, Juchitan de Zaragoza 02.02.2020