Artes Visuales | Crítica y opinión por Judith Pedroza · 25.06.2019
Who are your people? Answer me. The escape was never sweet. We run away from what sometimes cannot be recovered. We grieve our country. It is one of the greatest sorrows that never goes away. No matter how well you go into exile, there comes a time one afternoon between five and six, where although the day is almost perfect, nothing is enjoyed because one knows that there is a place abandoned. Intellectuals blame us exiles for fleeing. When your own people exile you, it makes you know you’re outside. The license to express an opinion is taken away from you. Your people enjoy taking the symbolic power of the word away from you with reoccurring phrases like “But if you no longer live here, why do you care? You’re not here, this is not America.” The language that comes from outside is a constant fault for not being, not understanding, not belonging. My question: Who are your people? Who do you recognize?
The middle class is where most of the Mexican intellectuals are found. They segregate, they make a clear difference in their own class, they trade critical knowledge, to be recognized, they use their knowledge only to stay in texts and win prizes. The Mexican intellectual needs to touch the sky outside, because that gives him or her status, but they don´t want to put their hands on what they have as working material, the country’s life, getting involved with it. The Mexican intellectual has the bad bourgeois habit. He wants to write in cafes and eat cakes, go to hot spots, and eat the latest food from Roma. I cannot recognize myself in them. I cannot understand that while the country is falling apart, they make the most marked differences. The middle class is the least supportive of classes, maintaining an idea of the individual that is not involved in the group, that creates alliances of convenience. Mexican intellectuals want to change their home, on the road, forget who their people are. These are the intellectuals who blame the exiles.
From Javier Raya to Laurel, my question: Who are your people? Answer me. There is no clear answer. Raya writes as an echo of several young voices who do not believe everything that comes in books. He dropped out of the university twice, and what he liked to do most was read and join other university classmates to discuss their own agendas. Raya has that feeling of the group, but not sectarian, arguing for collective therapy. So the question remains, what to do, where, and how? Whenever possible, the texts of Javier Raya touched me from afar. When he met me, he did not exile me, nor do I look like I’m outside his circle. Instead, he recognized me in his own echo. I am a little older, and also, I have never believed everything intellectuals and politicians say. I belong to a class that was created through the adversities of the crisis, with the constant question, What can I do? We dream another time after failing in front of those separatist intellectuals.
Javier does not want to stop sharing and invites me to accompany him in his daily activities, like going downtown to Plaza Meave, a monster where you find all the technology in the world for only 2 dollars. We get on a bus where you feel other bodies in your ribs and your shoulders. Proximity to other bodies in my city is not a problem, there is not much room to move and have your “own space”. Your voice is dissolved with the other voices that speak of the demands of the day, work problems, family activities. There among a sea of people on a bus, we talked about the importance of how to write and for whom you write. When I ask, who are your people, his face is puzzled. He tells me that even with all that we can recognize, he cannot be all Mexican people. He makes a clear difference. I explain that long ago I realized that there are Mexicans who do not like their own people and that it is one of the biggest problems facing the country. The middle class is key in education, politics, economics, and the media. It has the power to create change. Its great impulse is to be different from the rest, making distinctions, trying most of the time to mold processes and establish practices that leave people from the next class, the bottom of society, outside. They don´t want to be recognized in their own skin color, they do not recognize their own, they want to be bleached, they want to be distinguished.
“He who loves life has to grow on all fronts, colleagues I am an old revolutionary full of rheumatism, but if I would live two lives, I would try to follow living in the service of what I feel […] Thanks Mexico for the many compatriots received in times of sorrow. Thanks Mexico for the example of solidarity that always cultivated with the persecuted in the world with the waves that came from revolutionary Spain and defeated, with all the exiles of poor Latin America… thanks Mexico because your children and your children’s children when they migrate out there do not give up remaining Mexican and speaking Spanish, dreaming in Spanish, and feeling part of this America. Mexico, love each other in Mexican, love and feel part of our America, our nation is still kneading and doing.”