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Itandehui Xiaj Nikté - Street Art Archivist

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Hello. My name is Itandehui. I am an art historian and an ethnohistorian, which looks at the ways anthropology intersects with history. My interest in art started with an interest of indigenous cultures in Mexico, but then continued because of the 2006 protests, which was a social movement that occurred in Oaxaca. The history, that is the history behind the art, is primarily focused on the tools we have for telling our own history, as indigenous people living in this city and in our communities because what happens is that other people come in to write about us. That is their right, but we, too, have the ability to study ourselves intellectually, and write about ourselves and talk about ourselves, which is part of what I have been trying to do and what I have written. My investigation deals with incidents that I have personally experienced and that have impacted me greatly. I also think it is important to document work that is being produced on the street, which is many times undervalued, but it also serves as a memory that is present in our cities and is a part of our contemporary history that tells a story, which is the reason I photograph and document because sometimes the art quickly gets erased. But with documentation, we have a record that stays for the future, especially future generations who can perhaps evaluate what was represented well and what was not. We too can have these tools, these types of weapons, which include history, memory, and the mind, and the mind should be the first weapon to be used. The way I became involved in the 2006 protests is through the different organizations with which I was previously involved. I was also involved with fine arts and some family members are educators. So when the police forces began to evict people, I participated as a show of support to my family, friends, just like many others in Oaxaca who share similar circumstances. What caught my attention and initially struck me was that the streets were painted more than usual. Many of the messages on the street were not created in the classic graffiti fashion, which I really like, but these messages were created for a wider audience denouncing what was happening. That is when I started recording, during that year, because I did not know how long it was going to last, and it was something different. Initially, I only took photographs, and a few times I stenciled a few images for recordkeeping but photographing them was a greater passion, so I had to decide if I wanted to paint the images or photograph them because I did not have time to do both, take the photo and record them. I uploaded various images to the internet on pages that were opening up here like Indimedia that included images of street art, which demonstrated that there was a creative aspect to the confrontation and the violence that was part of the reality. But there was a creative side to the struggle. So that is how I started uploading images, and I posted them on the internet. The replies and the responses came from outside of Mexico. This all happened when I was about to graduate when these events greatly impacted my life in 2006, and I decided to focus my thesis over this subject, including antecedents to give it a wider scope. As for my Master's work, I did not want to continuously return to 2006 and focus just on the victimization that happened. So I told myself, we learned. Sometimes we enjoyed ourselves and sometimes we suffered, but it is part of the past and in a collective memory as we look towards the future. We shouldn't contain ourselves to a single moment.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 20 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: arteurbanoenoaxaca on Jul 25, 2015

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