Many aspirations have been ascribed to the year 2021. The calamity that was 2020 has left little recourse but to collectively manifest a better, safer, healthier, and more socially just 2021. Last year certainly reaffirmed just how deep, exigent and grievous the wounds that plague our country, our hemisphere, and our planet are. It also made visible how mundane inequity, violence, and dehumanization has become. Moreover, it made quite evident the staggering amount of energy and commitment it will take to mend, to rehabilitate, and to heal. It is a daunting scope of work [that] can only happen in collaboration and in coalition.
Fortunately, building bridges is a keystone of Chicana/Latina feminist epistemology, as the essays in the Spring 2021 issue attest. They artfully illustrate the points of convergence between Anzaldúan thought and a Caribbean-based Afro-diasporic spirituality in an analysis of a leading Afro-Puerto Rican poet, as well as the melding of Indigenous and U.S.-based race scholarship from across the American hemisphere to help stop exploitation of the earth’s resources. Together, these four essays offer constructive renderings of the potential and precarity of traversing unmapped or obfuscated waypoints, intersections, and connections using Chicana/Latina feminist epistemologies as touchstones. These various registers offer an insight and prescience that can actualize a better world.
The creative writing in this issue calls attention to the internal and external threats that jeopardize our spirits, pre- and post-pandemic. The rest of the content [of] this issue offers a variety of reflections on Latina bodies. The artist featured this month, Verónica Kovats Sánchez, offers depictions of Latinas that not only capture a range of phenotypes, exalt non-European features, and body shapes and sizes, but also interpret the pain, growth, and joy that make Latinas multi-dimensional individuals worthy of being honored in portraits. The books reviewed offer nuanced analyses of the racialized, stereotyped, and objectified Latina body.
May these insights, reflections, imagery, and theorizations offered in this issue guide you safely through the rebirth and re-imagining of 2021.
Exploring Anxiety and Depression Through Art: Growing, Thriving, y Floriciendo
Verónica Kovats Sánchez
Editor’s Commentary: Mapping the Exigencies of 2021
Sonya M. Alemán
“Por el mar que nos une:” boat people’s Living Waters
Rebeca L. Hey-Colón
Water in the Peruvian Andes: Ecojusticia and José María Arguedas’ “Agua” (1935)
The Codex Nepantla Project: Transinterpretation as Pocha Poetics, Politics, and Praxis
Alicia Gaspar de Alba
Testimonia as Stitch Work: Undoing Coloniality Through Autoethnography in Puerto Rico
Editor’s Commentary: La ultima y nos vamos
Patricia Marina Trujillo
Of Birds and Butterflies: The Continuity of Life after the Death of a Sibling
Christina Urrea Ayala-Alcantar
Mending the Body/Mind Split through Transdisciplinary Methods
Karen Mary Davalos
Undoubtedly Smart and Undeniably Brown: The ChicaNerd in Young Adult Literature
Poetic Embodiments of Black and Latina Women and Girls
Gloria A. Negrete-Lopez