Theorizing from the digital flesh of Sihuehuet/Sigüanaba: Muxer de agua, shape-shifts between the borders of Santidad & Putidad by Sonia Aracely

One image from Instagram Post

COURSE: Independent Project

MEDIUM: Digital Illustration/Instagram Post

The media project uses decolonial feminism frameworks to present on reclaiming one’s body through the ancestral deity from El Salvador called the Sigüanaba. Bodies tell stories, which is why the project unpacks the deity as a study for how generational waves of women de-code the enchantment of viewing bodies as shameful. Sigüanaba is interpreted differently by three women from three generations and distinct transnational contexts, but each story intersects in their journey of body reclamation. This is achieved by intersecting mixed media art and research to share the stories onto an Instagram account, @muxerhermosa_muxerhorrible. The social media platform allows for the bridging of diverse struggles, triumphs, and experiences to provide solutions of how to build, maintain and advocate for a healthy relationship with ones’ body.

The submission is a combination of a research paper and creative project, produced in a Senior Capstone course during the spring of 2019 for the Department of Humanities & Communication (HCOM) at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). My undergraduate career become the place to explore discourses in relation to critical decolonial feminism studies. The senior capstone course provided the opportunity to begin forming my identify as an artist scholar. The formation of this identity has led to a continuation of producing coherent media projects while pursing graduate school in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) at the University of Madison, Wisconsin (UW-M). As a graduate student, I am currently passionate about preserving the history of female deities in the American continent by using comics and fictional oral history. Working with interdisciplinary methods thereby places my work at a constant-state of evolution. First it aimed to be daring, edgy and loquacious, but now it stems from a consciousness of self-representation, pain and passion. However, my style is consecutive because it uses bold and vibrant colors to portray personal depictions of women’s experience and form. Through my art work and scholarship I hope to interconnect women’s rights and issues.

The project is uploaded onto the instagram account, @muxerhermosa_muxerhorrible, to make it accessible to communities outside of academic spaces.