El primer paso was made in 1999 when mi apa came from Michoacán, Mexico.
The sweat dripping down his sun beaten temples unto the sun bleached tierra still exists. A sign of life. Months after, mi ama, brother, and I would also cross that same border to follow the life of promise that the United States offered. I was only two and my brother was four the second time around because we had to cross twice; the first time we were caught. I remember my mom telling me it was because of me that everyone was caught. She said I couldn’t stop crying. Quizas inside I knew what was going on. I was trying to save them, to save us from what the united states would do, to them, to us.
A distant llanto begging for salvation. Holding on for dear life,
the life in question. The lives in question?
The ways in which I put migration in and out of context is through movement. A continuous recontextualization of the meaning in a way that allows me to digest, comprehend, and begin to attempt to make amends. My practice then serves as a tool to reconfigure what it means to migrate within the context of survival, hope, truth seeking, and fear. It is an extension of myself, my lived experience, and those I come from. Through a questioning of migration, a mechanism of movement, and its criminalization from the states through the establishment of citizenry, I aim to declare autonomy, and seek a dissection of what it means to criminalize, to establish, render a community as other.
El sueño americano has seeped into my life, into crevices I never wanted it to. My practice then allows me to connect through collective and genetic memory with a time, people, and place I cannot share with through physicalities, while also raising the question as to why that is. Migration is natural, a human right, and to some extent, it is seen, allowed, and digested but by what bodies? Whose bodies? Who is given the privilege of range of motion, and who is chained to a ground, underground, buried?
Yaritza Flores Bustos is an interdisciplinary artist based in Phoenix, Arizona. Born in Michoacán, México and having migrated to Arizona, Flores Bustos is a voice, translator, chillona, weaver and mender, but above all a daughter. Her practice utilizes dissected and reappropriated storytelling (poem, theory, found and recorded sound), video and traditional craft methods (clay, fiber). Flores Bustos has a fidelity to truth. She digs up, traces, and deconstructs migration, through history, policy, labor, and personal anecdote from generational trauma and both physical and emotional weight. From this she addresses how, why, and what people become to be criminalized.