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Issues of human rights violations become the unifying platform of this project. INTENTO FALLIDO promotes an understanding that only through dialogue and shared experiences that our human rights are embraced. The wall creates a network among people that have lived a similar experience, establishing a connection among them, which might not have otherwise taken place. We come to realize that the world is a small place, and what happens in Africa, or elsewhere, is not far from us but rather close to home. Differences enhance the limits of experiences life can offer us in a highly controlled society as individuals.
Our lives are shaped by cultural, social, political structures and global pressures. Whether these pressures of acculturation are positive or negative, we often possess little power to negotiate how this effects our lives. In the context of globalization we are forced to conform to the lifestyles mandated by the model and plan of economic development conceived for a whole planet. This implies the globalization of individuals. Personal and community autonomy threatens this homogenization. We can see around us countless examples of communities and countries that seek autonomy. Their rights are ignored, more so they are characterized as counter to the interests and agendas of a dominant global program. Cuba, Chiapas, and East Timor, are countries and communities, as the struggle for women's rights, examples of these historical conflicts. War is waged on them in order to force conformity.
Our individuality is maintained frailly in the face of economic globalization. Globalization threatens and effects each society's development, and their autonomy to maintain their culture and history. In a globalized economy it becomes a more distant and non-essential priority. How do we protect our cultural and individual differences?
I have always drawn strength and have been enriched by exposure to cultures and people different than my own. Societies that embrace "otherness" are not threatened by individuality. INTENTO FALLIDO (Failed Attempt) seeks to address and establish a dialogue through visual metaphor and oral histories to define what these differences are and how they are challenged in our everyday lives.
The project INTENTO FALLIDO consists of a wall made up of @150 adobe blocks, each a casting of the left side torso of an individual. Some surfaces display a cut or a scar which are lit from inside. Testimonies from participants will emanate from the wall through hidden speakers, so that as one confronts the installation, individual stories are heard.
The matrix of adobes represents a community of individuals. Each block represents a single individual's persona and their story, the spirit of the individual that has survived one of many "mutilating experiences." These experiences are the stories that we hear and can be rooted in economic, ideological, sexual, physical, cultural, and political differences that person reflects as an "other". It is a mutilating experience when the circumstances that occur deny us of our own choice, when it is forced upon us. Self-expression is squelched when policing forces in society "monitor" otherness, because these individuals and choices don't fit societal models, when a woman stretches convention by dress or attitude, or a worker speaks out for their rights. The scar on the surface of the torso symbolizes the damage inflicted upon the individual to conform, the process to possess the heart in order to destroy the individuals self.
What they have in common is the experience of that moment in which their rights as human beings were violated through the abuse of a position of power and the realization that within, there is a space, a light that can never be touched or violated.
Project in Progress
From the Valle de San Quintin to the Silicon Valley, INTENTO FALLIDO will incorporate women from all walks of life: students, migrants, organizers, activists, agricultural, maquiladora and sexual workers, housewives, etc., and some of our compañeros. This project will be based and developed in the Tijuana/San Diego region. It was part of the "Pan y Rosas" MMM2000 campaign. Individuals, and community organizations will participate in the production of the adobes, as well as the rest of the project. Participants will provide a mold of their torso and contribute a five-gallon bucket of dirt to pour an adobe. They will share a seminal event from their lives where they became aware of this personal /internal space, and of their recognition that they could not be possessed against their will.
Carmela Castrejón Diego