Ts’onot (Yucatec Mayan), cenote, sacred water well for the god of rain, sinkhole

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Ts’onot is a series of micro-residencies, an artist collective, and artist network taking place at the site town of Falfurrias in South Texas. Ts’onot is derived from the Yucatec Mayan language and means land location with accessible groundwater. According to Gloria Anzalduá ts’onot, or el cenote, is an archetypal inner stream of consciousness or dream pool, akin to a mental network of interconnected subterranean river. Cenote is a land-based sculpture built by a collective hand or in Joseph Beuys’ terms, a social sculpture and hub that brings together artists, writers, researchers, activists, and organizers for a 1-2 week research residency. Residents will engage with the humanitarian work of South Texas Human Rights Center in Falfurrias to develop new or existing projects related to the landscape of South Texas. The STHRC is an organization to preventing migrant deaths and assisting families in locating missing loved ones due to militarization near the U.S.-Mexico border, particularly through their water station project under the direction of organizer Eddie Canales. Water plays a particularly important role in the environment and archeological history of Falfurrias, as local curandero legend Don Pedro Jaramillo lived nearby at the turn of the twentieth century, and used the life-sustaining substance as an integral part of his holistic healing practice. The water stations that STHRC builds and maintains recognize the curative properties integral to Don Pedro’s communal healing. Residents will participate in refilling and maintaining the water stations in Brooks County and the surrounding area—an ongoing operation of STHRC that prevents migrant deaths from occurring as they circumvent highway border checkpoints. Cenote also invites artists and community creatives through workshops led by residents in their respective craft in making space for dialogue and interaction with the history and political landscape of Falfurrias, to dream possibilities for exploration beyond the borders of activism and artistic practice.

A conversation between visual artists Angel Lartigue, Tere Garcia and poets Matt Flores and Roberto Tejada. Video graphics by H C -(M). Part of the US Latinx Art Forum CHARLA series

Collaborators: 

Angel Lartigue

Matt Flores

Tere Garcia

H C – (M)

Saúl Hernández-Vargas

Victoria Paige Gonzalez

The South Texas Human Rights Center

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This project is made possible with support from The Idea Fund. The Idea Fund is a re-granting program administered by DiverseWorks, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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