Uno de cada tres

For weeks, my host mom, Cristina, has been working tirelessly on organizing an art show. This Tuesday, all of her hard work came together beautifully in the opening of the show at the Sala de Exposiciones at the UAM. Titled Uno de cada tres, the show is a selection of paintings, photos, sculptures, and videos about gender violence or machismo violence and disability. It was organized by the group Blanco, Negro y Magenta, and is on display until the 14th of December. The material is certainly heavy, but it opens up a very important conversation on machismo in Spain, prompting the question I’ve been grappling with for months: what does it say about the English language that we don’t have a word for machismo?
The group of all female artists led a tour around the gallery, each explaining the inspiration behind their art. It was a uniquely special feeling to be in this room of powerful, artistic women, learning from them as they each said a few words to the crowd.
Cristina’s piece was a video paired with music scored by my host dad, José Luis. She bragged to her friends at the opening that I was the first eyes to see the video, and it was so fascinating to watch it develop, as Cristina navigated an editing application that really blew my mind. Featuring her friend dancing on a rooftop, the video, Una Ninguna y Cien Mil, is backed by a chorus of voices chanting words like woman, free, and fly. I was honored to play a tiny part in the video, as she recorded me saying these words in English, and subsequently gathered many other recordings of other friends speaking their native languages. The result was a powerfully global feeling as I watched the video flow from scene to scene, hearing multiple languages speaking words of encouragement.
Another one of my favorite pieces told the story of the murder of a woman by her husband in Toledo in 2018. With news articles scattered around the floor, from a variety of sources, a wheelchair is the center of the piece. A white wedding dress lies over the wheelchair, reaching down to the floor, representing the marriage of the couple. Aside from being visually intriguing, the piece tells a tragic story in a 3D way. After studying intersectionality for weeks in multiple classes, I was moved by the show’s visibility of gender and disability. One piece featured a red rope in a semicircle around a sculpture of a foot, and just above the opening of the rope was another foot, representing stepping out. The artist spoke of her piece as giving hope for the possibility of “salir,” or finding ways to live with and thrive with a disability. See below for pictures!
I couldn’t be prouder of all the hard work Cristina put in to planning this show and making her video, it has been so special to watch her create it and now all that work is paying off! I feel so lucky to have such an activist role model in my host family. For those of you who take classes at the UAM, I highly recommend stopping by the show, in the Plaza Mayor/ Sala de Exposiciones. Even if you aren’t at the UAM on a weekly basis, it’s surely worth the trip!

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