The exhibition will be open at Chapman University until the 27th of June 2017.
Following this link you can read an INTERVIEW by the Arts Collection Department of the University.
Moving Forward, Looking Back, Journeys Across the Old Spanish Trail is a documentary project focused on identity, based on memory and inspired by travel.
In the USA you can buy the book via the Spain arts & culture website or by following this link.
Moving forward, looking back (Avanzando hacia adelante, mirando hacia atrás) es un fotolibro que traza un recorrido por el “Old Spanish Trail” (Antiguo sendero español), una ruta comercial histórica que conectaba Nuevo México con California en el siglo XVIII. Una interesante forma de exploración histórica a través del arte contemporáneo.
If you can not visit the exhibition in Washington D.C. you can now explore it virtually by following this link. Virtual Gallery
You can click on all the images and the headphones on display to access to the interviews and also see the photographs larger. Use the arrows to navigate through the different rooms and enjoy exploring the space and the artwork.
For those who can make it, the exhibition would be open until the 28th June at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain.
In the following weeks I will be posting some photographs and excerpts form the interviews with the Spanish descendants I met during the journey. It has been a fascinating experience to cross our paths and I hope to share some glimpses about how they feel when thinking in their identity.
Corina was born in Taos, in northern New Mexico, and now lives in Santa Fe. She works as an accountant and also serves as a Major and Logistics Officer for the U.S. Army Reserves. As she told me, she belongs to many cultures, with one ancestor from France and some from Spain, who arrived via Mexico, finally settling in Rancho de Taos on what was then the frontier of New Spain. Some of the descendants of these first conquistadors were mixed blood with Native Americans from the surrounding area. Others were mixed with the ‘‘genízaros’’ that settled in this lands. They traded with the nomadic Navajos, Apaches, Utes and Comanches, who in most cases had been forced to accept Catholicism and speak Spanish. Corina is not totally sure about where exactly in Spain her ancestors came from, but she proudly celebrates her shared roots. She has formed a traditional folkloric group with her twelve-year-old daughter and they dance together at many fiestas in and around Santa Fe. Each New Year’s Eve, she joins her family in Taos to dance traditional ‘‘Comanche dances,’’ which honor the arrival of a new period.
I met with Cipriano firstly in Abiquiu and afterwards in El Rito, at his home, to interview him for the project. Recently he has started a kickstarter campaign to raise funds to continue with his project where he hopes to go into the schools to teach students from 3rd to 6th grades how to build a cigar box guitar, that they learn to play and keep at the end. Cipriano has played an important role in preserving the traditional songs of New Mexico and has collected the lyrics mainly in Spanish and melodies of romances, entregas, décimas, cuandos and corridos. If you can help please donate or promote this beautiful project.
You can see his campaign here:
During my last visit to California I had the opportunity to meet with some of the descendants I knew from my prior visit and also to engage with new people that kindly shared their stories for the project. I am working on the book at the moment so I hope to be able to share soon their experiences.
Lucille celebrates proudly her heritage and the traditions of her Spanish and Native American ancestors. Three years after moving to Santa Fe, Lucille started to visit the local archives to learn more about her genealogy. In this video she tells us about her exciting journey to the past and about how she met her husband whilst researching at the archives.
Today I was fortunate enough to meet with both Ashley Hall, the President of the Old Spanish Trail Association and with Liz Warren, the Nevada Director. It was great to feel their passion for the promotion, awareness and associated education of the route which I am currently exploring. Our meeting place was the Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park which is the oldest non-native settlement in Las Vegas.
In this video you can hear Ashley talk about the role of the organisation and its aims for the future. I will be also posting soon an informative conversation with Liz Warren about her professional research on defining Antonio Armijo´s route.
To find out more about this trail that crosses the Southwest you can visit the website: www.oldspanishtrail.org
In this short interview, Abiquiu´s Pueblo Historian David Lopez firstly talks about trading between New Mexico and California along the Old Spanish Trail and also discusses the major events that have affected the identity of the people that comprises the community of Abiquiu.
Jean Anaya is a Galisteo based artist that works mainly with the technique of Straw Applique, reinterpreting traditional Hispanic religious imagery using natural pigments and traditional materials.
Jean is part of the Spanish Market, and event that every year showcases in Santa Fe the creations of artists with at least 1/4 of Spanish descendent.
In this interview she talks about how her time in Galisteo and the evolution of Straw Applique in New Mexico.