MOTHERS OF THE MOTHERLESS

In 2008, I was commissioned to create a painting for the Edmonia Lewis Center for Women and Transgendered People at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.  I visited as part of a residency where I created this work on-site and visited classes.   The work is a celebration of women/ trans/ queer people who have essentially nurtured oppressed and marginalized communities. I use the term "mother" here not in a biological or gendered sense but rather as a transcendent expression for those who love, nurture and heal, regardless of gender. Below is a list of those featured.

 

From the upper right corner, these mothers spiral through the waters of a whirlpool marking Yoruba orisha of motherhood and the sea, Yemaya. They are:

Antonia Pantoja: Puerto Rican visionary, educator, activist, founder of Aspira

Marlon Riggs: Radical poet, activist, educator and filmmaker 
Julia de Burgos: Puerto Rican revolutionary poet
Cherríe Moraga: Chicanx radical poet, playright, essayist and memoirist
Audre Lorde: Radical “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” 
Rachel Beverly: Activist and nurturer in the Oberlin community
Tania:  Clandestine combatant in the Cuban Revolution
Willie Ninja: Mother, House of Ninja, performer
Luisa Capetillo:  Puerto Rican labor activist, gender non-conforming anarchist
Phoolan Devi:  Indian revolutionary, bandit queen, warrior for all women
Assata Shakur: Black freedom fighter still living in exile
Yuri Kochiyama:  Japanese revolutionary, social justice warrior
Edmonia Lewis: Chippewa and African American artist, sculptor 
Sylvia Rivera:  Legendary Puerto Rican trans activist
Lolita Lebron: Puerto Rican freedom fighter
Gloria Anzaldua: Radical Chicanx scholar and cultural theorist

© 2017-19 by Yasmin Hernandez. All rights reserved.  Moca, Puerto Rico. yasminhernandezart@gmail.com

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