[-empyre-] Next round of guests

Irina Contreras icontreras at cca.edu
Sat Dec 14 09:58:53 EST 2013


My apologies for the pause. This "week's" guests include Decolonize Your
Diet (US), Cake and Eat It (US)  and Dorothy Santos (US).

I am very interested in opening up now beyond purely visual or aesthetic
responses but looking at projects that mostly operate outside the

People are free to respond to things that came up last week or introduce
things that are relevant to them but haven't been brought up.

Each guest, CAEI, Dorothy and DYD can go ahead and introduce themselves and
showing/linking a bit of text, work, projects that you are concentrating on
is great.

Thanks so much again 1st week guests.


Dorothy Santos is a writer, thinker, connector, and visual & critical
studies geek. Born and raised in San Francisco, she holds Bachelor's
degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco.
As arts editor and curator of The New Asterisk Magazine + Gallery, she
enjoys writing about artists and engaging with the community. She has
served as a volunteer blogger for ZERO1: Arts and Technology Network and
Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA). Her work also appears in The
Civic Beat, Art Practical, Stretcher, Creative Applications Network, Daily
Serving, Hyperallergic, the art21 blog, and Planting Rice. She also serves
as a Board Member for the SOMArts Cultural Center and sits on the advisory
board for theatrical production A History of the Body by artist, writer,
and poet, Aimee Suzara. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in
Visual and Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts. Her
research interests include computational aesthetics, programming, coding,
and open source culture and their effects on contemporary art.

Cake and Eat It, cofounded by Ada M. Tinnell and Kate Kershenstein, creates
works about the underbelly of gift economies, fashion, anarchism, queer
identities, and radical unionism. They have given away copious amounts of
free clothes, thrown fashion shows in dingy holes, hosted anarchist variety
shows and salons, given away cursed gifts, staged riotous fashion marches,
styled defendants for court, run a yearlong free boutique, and orchestrated
an experimental opera tribute to Jean Genet. Their current work, *Femme
Strike*, is an investigation into the cultural scripts that pervade radical
political forms: the manifesto, the union hall, the picket, the strike. The
project questions the utilitarian veneer of politics, instead seeking to
elaborate femme methodologies and aesthetics to better mediate between
affective bonds and bonds of political solidarity. Founded in Denver and
currently based in Los Angeles, Cake and Eat It’s project iterations have
included a series of femmed temporary union halls, *Opera Operaismo: A May
Day Opera-As-Flying-Picket*, and the forthcoming book* THE Femme Method*.

*Decolonize Your Diet* is a call to US born Latinos/as to reclaim the
richness and life-affirming qualities ofMesoamerican foods. The central
tenet of our project is “*La comida es medicina*” [Food is medicine]
because we believe that food is profoundly healing, both physically and
spiritually. We argue that eating a diet rich in plants like corn, beans,
squash, and greens, can prevent or reverse diseases that occur when US born
Latinos/as adopt the Standard American Diet. Just as importantly, preparing
a pot of freshly cooked beans, tamales, or corn tortillas, connects us to
our ancestors and Mother Earth, reminding us of the strength of our
indigenous cultures and the importance of protecting the environment for
future generations.

Although US Latinos/as currently face a health crisis with rising rates of
diabetes, heart disease and cancer; numerous public health studies have
revealed an interesting fact: recent Mexican immigrants are healthier than
their American-born children and even healthier than most Americans
regardless of income or race. In public health literature, this is known as
the “Latino Paradox.” We believe that Mexican immigrants arrive to the US
with strong health because they have been raised on a traditional
plant-based diet, eating foods such as tamales, beans, greens, and corn
tortillas that date back to before the Conquest.

By framing our project through the lens of decolonization, we put forward a
social analysis that frames diseases like diabetes, cancer, and high blood
pressure as a legacy of colonization. We explain decolonization in concrete
terms—through critical discussions of the everyday practices of cooking,
preparing, and eating meals. By sharing food stories and recipes, we foster
a critical consciousness about the injustice of the global food system. Our
project is an urgent call to US Latinos/as to resist acculturation, to
honor our traditional food cultures, and to recover our spiritual
connection to Mother Earth.
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