One of the great controversies of recent days in Mexico has been that they are going to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus that is in the Paseo de la Reforma, which is one of the most important avenues of that city, with a sculpture of a woman indigenous. There are people who do not agree that the sculpture of that European invader is removed. Those people are, as I would say Frantz Fanon, alienated.
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The truth is that Christopher Columbus He “discovered” America, but in reality what he did was facilitate the conquest of this territory and, in fact, he was a participant in several of those pettiness against the original inhabitants of this region. In Mexico, in particular, the Conquest of Mexico would not have existed without their participation. Today this historic event is seen as one of the greatest genocides in history. The conquerors, feeling like new amadises, did all kinds of atrocities in this part of the world. It is well known that the current president of Mexico has unsuccessfully asked Spain to apologize for the Conquest. That has not happened and will not happen. Guillermo del Toro had already said it well in an interview for The world:
Any historical wound (Civil War, conquest, expropriation or extermination) or systemic evil (racism, sexism or classism) remain latent for a very long time, like a ghost, and it is very difficult to silence or heal. Because in a system, which is the human equivalent of a circuit, the face of the monster is, at some point, our own. We are fused with that system and we want to deny it. Trump invokes and evidences things that were already there. Don’t believe, reveal. This is the terrible thing: seeing that the world was much more backward than many of us thought
This story has taken a turn now that the appearance of the bust that will replace the Columbus sculpture has been revealed. Its name is Tlali and it was sculpted by one of the most famous sculptors of today: Pedro Reyes. Talking with Newscast, he said the following about the sculpture:
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The idea of this monument is an allegory to the earth that is inspired by many elements of Mexican sculpture from different moments in history, from its great antiquity, especially, obviously, the Olmec heads, which are the oldest expression of the sculpture in Mexico. With the exception of one (Olmec head) they are male representations, since when dealing with the subject of the earth we do not say ‘father earth’, but ‘mother earth’. That is why it is a female allegory. What I looked for was to incorporate elements and I looked a lot in pre-Hispanic sculpture.
In that same interview, he said that it was difficult for him to make a female Olmec head because the ones that exist are male. The point is that many users of social networks seem to agree with that last statement because they did not like the sculpture or by mistake. In fact, to many she does not seem like an indigenous woman. For various users of social networks (via infobae) looks more like someone of African descent, alien, a robot, or simply someone who had a bichectomy (removing their cheeks). There has been no shortage of those who have said that the sculpture looks like that of an inhabitant of Wakanda and, specifically, of a Dora Milaje, like the ones we could see in Black Panther (90%). Nor has it been missing that more sensible people have noticed that more than in reality what seems to be that the artist tries to adjust what he understands by indigenous woman to the canons of western and contemporary beauties.
For this reason, the memes have not been lacking and all of them have been accompanied by the hashtag #Tlali. Here are some of the best:
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Social media users assure that Tlali looks more like a Wakanda woman than an Olmec