Decolonial Affirmations of P’urhepechecidad: Queer and Feminist Interventions

Solicited, in communication with Eddy Alvarez Endorsed by Women and Social Movements in the United States,1600–2000

Thursday, March 31, 2022, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Type: Virtual Session

Tags: Latino/a; LGBTQ History and Queer Studies; Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples


Pre-circulated session: Through poetry, performance and embodied testimonio, this roundtable will intervene in the conversation on P’urhepecha resurgence by centering the voices of queer and feminist P’urhepecha activists, artists and academics. The session will explore precolonial P’urhepecha beliefs about queerness were regulated through colonization, why silences around women’s bodily autonomy and queerness have existed and how contemporary queer and feminist P’urhepechas in the diaspora are decolonizing today’s conceptualization of P’urhepechecidad. Through various methods and mediums, including pole-dancing, poetry, performance, theory and testimonio (oral history), the session will make a critical intervention in the emerging field of transnational P’urhepecha Studies.

Session Participants

Chair and Presenter: Tiara Roxanne, Humanities theorist
Tiara Roxanne (PhD) is an Indigenous cyberfeminist, scholar and artist based in Berlin. Her research and artistic practice investigates the encounter between the Indigenous Body and AI. More particularly, she explores the colonial structure embedded within artificial intelligence learning systems in her writing and her performance art through textile. Currently her work is mediated through the color red. She received the Zora Neale Hurston Award from Naropa University in 2013 where she graduated from with her MFA. Under the supervision of Catherine Malabou, Tiara completed her dissertation, "Recovering Indigeneity: Territorial Dehiscence and Digital Immanence" in June 2019. Tiara has presented her work at Images Festival (Toronto), Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center (NY), Trinity Square Video (Toronto), SOAS (London), SLU (Madrid), Transmediale (Berlin), Duke University (NC), re:publica (Berlin), Tech Open Air (Berlin), AMOQA (Athens), among others.

Presenter: Mario Alberto Gomez-Zamora, Latin American & Latinxs Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz
Mario Alberto Gómez-Zamora is a gay P'urhepecha from Patamban, Michoacan and a Ph.D. student in Latin American and Latino Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz. Alberto's work focuses on his P’urhépecha heritage, including traditional medicine and collected memories. Learning about traditional knowledge has allowed him to freely accept himself as a homosexual man—“a dual spirit.” Alberto engages ethnography and theories of Latinidad and indigeneity and Latina/o/x testimonio in his work.

Presenter: Suguey Hernandez, Independent consultant
Suguey is the granddaughter of Mexican Indigenous (P'urhepecha and Pirinda) farmers and the daughter of California migrant farmworkers. As a political strategist, she has more than a decade of civic engagement and labor organizing experience. Suguey's organizing victories include leading Power California’s field strategy and civic engagement campaigns to mobilize young voters of color. In 2018, during the historic midterm election, Power California and partners reached nearly 175,000 voters of color under her leadership. As a professional dancer, Suguey is committed to practicing radical self-love by engaging in dance and pole. “I find my freedom in an embodied praxis of self-love through dance. Pole gives me the pleasure and possibility to just BE in a society that hates me for being brown, femme/female, Mexican, Indigenous and queer.” Suguey holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She is an active practitioner of Indigenous spirituality through the Native American Church.

Presenter: Fabian Romero, University of Washington
fabian romero (Purepécha) is a two spirit poet, filmmaker, artist and P.h.D. student in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. fabian’s academic and artistic interests integrate settler colonialism, Performance Studies, racial capitalism with storytelling and poetry. Their work centers Purépecha people from Michoacán, Mexico to Seattle, Washington and beyond.