Colonial Practices and Cultural Repression by the Municipality against the Community Museum of the Valle de Xico – but “It is our 25th anniversary and we are still here.”

Moderated by Edgar Fabián Frias

Co-presented with Berkeley Arts + Design and the Center for Latin American Studies as part of the ATC | Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium and the Indigenous Technologies Initiative. Co-sponsored by Spanish & Portuguese, the Center for Race and Gender, the Arts Research Center, and The American Indian Graduate Program.

Register for the Zoom link here!
Watch on YouTube here.

The Valle de Xico Community Museum in the State of Mexico celebrates 25 years of resistance this year. Maria Thereza Alves has worked with the museum since 2009 and through collaborations the installation, The Return of a Lake, was made. The museum was closed by the municipality in 2019 by what the community considers an illegal act. The museum requests dissemination of this situation. As a result, further collaborations resulted in performative works and the on-going project, Son del Pueblo, an attempt through social media not only to re-make artifacts that are no longer accessible to the community but also to make the collection available beyond Xico.

About Maria Thereza Alves

Maria Thereza Alves, (Brazil, 1961) has participated in the Sydney Biennale (2020), Toronto Biennale (2019), Manifesta 12 in Palermo and 7 in Trento, Sao Paulo Biennale (2016 and 2010), Berlin Biennale 8, Sharjah Bienale (2017) and dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, Taipei Biennale (2012), Guangzhou Triennale 3 and the Second Havana Biennale. She has had a solo exhibit at MUAC in Mexico City and a survey exhibit at CAAC in Seville. Alves is the recipient of the Vera List Prize for Art and Politics 2016-2018.

In 1978, as a member of the International Indian Treaty Council, Alves made an official presentation of human rights abuses of the indigenous population of Brazil at the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Alves was one of the founding members of the Green Party of Sao Paulo in 1987. Recent books are Recipes for Survival published by University of Texas Press and Thieves and Murderers in Naples: A Brief History on Families, Colonization, Immense Wealth, Land Theft, Art and the Valle de Xico Community Museum in Mexico published by Di Paolo Edizioni. www.mariatherezaalves.org

About Edgar Fabián Frias

Edgar Fabián Frías is a nonbinary, queer, indigenous (Wixárika), and Latinx, multidisciplinary artist, curator, educator, and psychotherapist. Born in East Los Angeles in 1983, Frías received dual BA degrees in Psychology and Studio Art from the UC, Riverside. In 2013, they received an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, with an emphasis on Interpersonal Neurobiology and Somatic Psychotherapy. Frías is currently a 2022 candidate for an MFA in Art Practice at UC Berkeley.

About Indigenous Technologies

Indigenous Technologies is a program of the Berkeley Center for New Media that engages questions of technology and new media in relation to global structures of indigeneity, settler colonialism and genocide in the 21st century. Our Indigenous Tech events and ongoing conversations with Indigenous scholars and communities aim to critically envision and reimagine what a more just and sustainable technological future can look like. We will highlight Indigenous engagements with robotics, computer science, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, social media, online activism, video games, and more.

Read a full description of the program and find more resources here.