Under the Mask: Creative Dis/Possessions of Borderlands Remembrance Practices

Lizzy Bentley and Joanna Sanchez-Avila

Each November, thousands of people gather in the small downtown of Tucson, Arizona, for a ritualistic and participatory event known as the All Souls Procession. While the Procession has drawn criticism for the cultural appropriation embedded in many of its crafting practices, its stakeholders are hesitant to acknowledge a meaningful connection to Dia de los Muertos as they frame the procession as an "authentic" multicultural event. Rather than flattening our engagement with the All Souls Procession into an either/or binary by solely condemning its problematic dimensions or praising its creativity, we choose to embrace the event's complexity by continuing a both/and critical framework: a way of looking at the world that resists two-dimensional, binary categories. Our web-text takes the form of a multimedia scrapbook, a compilation of artifacts, sketches, sounds and snapshots that reflect our layered memories—as well as the layered histories—of the 2014 All Souls Procession. Through our craft, we invite you to explore some of the complexities of craft culture in community practice.

collage of All Souls Progression images

"Interwoven Memoria-All Souls Procession 2014" (Lizzy Bentley and Joanna Sanchez-Avila)

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Lizzy Bentley is a PhD student in English at University of Arizona. Her scholarship explores arts-based inquiry, transnational feminisms, and micro-practices for social change.

Joanna Sanchez-Avila is a PhD student in English at the University of Arizona. She is interested in the powerful potential of everyday stories which can be crafted through many ways such as spoken word, photography, or utilizing the 'style as resistance' ethos in the fashion.

Fair Use Statement

Images not taken by the authors have been used specifically as a means of scholarly critique or to add a transormative element to the web-text. Thus, the use of these images constitute fair use and have been cited as appropriate.