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Acuerparnos in pandemic times – by Jael de la Luz

By 1 junho 2020maio 12th, 2021LAWA news


In Latin America and the Caribbean the grassroots feminism has its origin in the resistance of our native peoples, our indigenous women, Afro-descendants and mestizo population. We call it Communitarian Feminism and arises from the constant resistance against colonization that try to use of our bodies, wisdoms, spiritualities and territories for it exploitation, sale and extraction of our natural resources to sustain this patriarchal capitalist system of death. Because of this resistance, our families and communities have been marginalized, discriminated and forced to live on the borderlands of modernity.

Women and no binary persons who identify ourselves like communitarian feminists have a memory of how our ancestors experienced colonial violence, massive rapes, imposed silences  and dead. From the colonial times viruses diseases like smallpox, measles, syphilis, and leprosy were one of the weapons of extermination that Europeans used to eradicate our ancestors just over 500 years ago. One of the answer to this epidemics from our ancestors was the ancient wisdom based on herbalism, body massages and prayers to all the cosmogonic deities, led to a resistance that continues to this day in Latin American.

Those this knowledge passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition, have accompanied us migrant women. In the UK I had found similar experiences that my ancestors faced in their own territories: patriarchal violence inside and outside the home, State violence, xenophobia for my immigration status, because of my lack of English or my accent. What this country doesn’t know is that my weapons are not earthly. I am strong, resilience and warrior, and I share with other people like me a collective hope I have a new heaven and a new Earth. That is the reason I continue fighting in a transatlantic way against the extractivsim in Latin American. Here in UK I am fighting against gentrification and the disappearance of BME communities; I take the compromise to fighting against feminicida violence in Latin America, fighting against cuts to BME women’s services by conservative governments in UK. I am fighting against wage insecurity,  against borders and against the hostile environment against migrants and refugees.

That is why the memory of resistance leads me to think about the importance of acuerpanos  in  pandemic times. Acuerparnos don’t have any translation in English but means body to body stay together despide if we are tired or sick. Together we can all be healthy embracing the tenderness and radical compassion breaking the borders and territorial distances to create a community of support and care so as not to feel isolation, fear and anxiety. Acuerparnos  is the sense of feeling part of the same body.

At the moment, many of us we are acuerpados with the family in our homes, with our friends and family on social networks. We are acuerpados when tenderness and mutual aid invite us to share our feelings and thoughts. We healing together when we prepare some of recipes and tips to soothe our souls; this is one way to acuerparnos and honor our ancestors. Acuerpar is spent our time, energy and wisdom of personal experience to the common, taking rest, love and mutual care to continue resisting against all condemnation in pandemic times.