Emiliano Alen Gaspar de la Cruz

EmilioAllenGaspar

Yo, Jan Nimmo, quiero saber dónde está Emiliano Alen Gaspar de la Cruz. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo @

This is the nineteenth portrait in a series of the 43 disappeared Normalista students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos teacher training school in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. Emiliano Alen Gaspar de la Cruz, known to his family as Alen, was given the nickname “Paisa Pilas” by his fellow students because he is quiet, serious and intelligent. He is passionate about becoming a teacher. Before he disappeared he’d help out his father in the milpa, which is an nahuatl word for an ancient Mesoamerican system of agriculture which intercrop maize, beans, chillies and other native crops.

He said to his mother, ” Mum, I’m going to stay and study in Ayotzinapa because that way, when I finish class, I’ll have time to help dad in the milpa“.

“Imagine our anger, our impotence”, says one of Alen’s nephews, “If they were the sons of businessmen, sons of so called important people, they’d be looking for them on land and at sea, right? But because these boys are the sons of campesinos the Government doesn’t give the matter any importance. So we feel anger and frustration, but most of all we feel great pain, but will still maintain the hope that they are alive. We know it and the President has given his version of events, because he is travelling abroad. He cares about business, he cares about investment. But he doesn’t care about the people. Peña Nieto is not going to fool us: they are alive and we are going to find them”.

(translated from an article in Animal Político 8/11/14)

Let’s hope he’s right.

Advertisements

Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz

Yo, Jan Nimmo,  Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo ©

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo ©

This is a tribute to Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz. His mother says he was mischievous as a young boy and that he liked to play with toy cars; he’d dismantle them and put them back together again or use the bits to invent something new. Later, as he grew older, he started to like baseball and football. He helped his parents out with chores such as looking after the hens or pigs and just before he disappeared his parents came home to find that he had cut the grass back. He wants to be a teacher because of the poverty that surrounds him. He wants to help his community. He’d say “I don’t want to be a campesino, I want to study, to get ahead so that I could look after you, Mum”. He wants to study chemistry. He is from Omeapa and is 20 years old.

His nickname is The Korean ( El Coreano) because of his almond eyes.

His sister describes his disappearance as a nightmare and says that the family just want to get back to normal.

Martina, his mother says “I feel bad, not having my son near to me, I love him so much, he knew that and wherever he is, I’m going to search for him. I want him back with me. They took him alive and I want him back alive”.

 

 

 

Martín Getsemany Sánchez García

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, quiero saber dónde está Martín Getsemany Sánchez García. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, quiero saber dónde está Martín Getsemany Sánchez García. Digital Collage: Jan Nimmo

I am slowing progressing through my portraits of each of the Normalista students who were forcibly disappeared in Iguala last September. The students at the school “Raul Isidro Burgos” in Ayotzinapa come from all over the state of Guerrero and many of them are bilingual. Martín comes from Zumpango del Río, not terribly far from Chilpancingo.

In this piece I wanted to combine imagery from the region’s pre-Columbian past and Martín’s passion for the football team he supported, Deportivo Cruz Azul – “Los Azules”. I have used marigolds or cempazuchitl to decorate the piece because they are used to adorn the hats of the Tlacololeros so typical of his home town. The Tlacololeros or farmers perform a dance where 14 dancers hunt  two other dancers “piteros” dressed as jaguars or Tigres… the story goes that the farmers hunt and kill a jaguar who has been terrorising the community. The dance is performed in honour of Tlaloc, the God of Fertility and water so that he will provide rain to water the farmers’ crops. The dancers are accompanied by a reed flute and drums which to me seems reminiscent of the music of the tambolineros I hear at romerías in the Sierra de Huelva , in Southern Spain. I have  included some lyrics from a son de tarima tlacololeros in this collage.

Traditions such as these are what first attracted me to Guerrero.  The Tigre mask in this collage is one which I took home with me to Scotland and will be familiar to anyone who has visited my home. The mask has eyes made from mirrors so that the enemy would see their own fear reflected back at them. Now when I see the mask I still remember the wonderful masked dances, traditions and music of Guerrero, but the eyes reflect my own fears for the students and their families, whose questions go unanswered.

 

 

 

 

Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jesús Jovany Rodriguez Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Jesús Jovany Rodriguez Tlatempa. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

21 year old Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa is from Tixtla and is nicknamed “el Churro” by his fellow students at the Normailsta teacher training school “Raul Isidro Burgos” in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico. His is the oldest of a family of four and is a father figure for his one year old niece, whose mother is a single parent. He was studying at the Normailsta school to become a teacher because he loves working with children. Those who know Jesús describe him as quiet, caring and faithful.  He is also someone who finds violence against women absolutely abhorrent.

I imagine that Jesús probably likes modern music but I have chosen the lyrics of a traditional son from the Tixtla area called La Martiniana for this collage. The gist of this song is that the one left behind should not mourn the singer’s passing – tears would mean that he would surely die but if he were to be sung the beautiful sones of the Isthmus then he would never die and live forever.

We now know that fellow student, Alexander Venacio Mora was murdered but I’m hoping with all my might that Jesús and the other 41 students forcibly disappeared on the 26th of September  2014 in Iguala are still alive. Whatever the outcome of these tragic events, they will always be remembered. I live on the other side of the world but know when I hum a son istmeño I will be remembering 43 young Guerrense men, with a lump in my throat.

La Martiniana

Niña cuando me muera,

No llores sobre mi tumba,

Cántame un lindo son, ay mamá!

Cántame La Sandunga.

No me llores, no, no me llores, no,

Porque si lloras, me muero,

En cambio si tu me cantas,

yo siempre vivo y nunca muero.

En cambio si tu me cantas yo siempre vivo y nunca muero.

Lucero de la mañana,

El rey de todos los sones,

Cántame la martiniana, ay mamá!

Que rompe los corazones.

No me llores, no, no me llores no.

Porque si lloras, yo muero

En cambio si tú me cantas yo siempre vivo y nunca muero.

Si quieres que no te olvide,

Si quieres que te recuerde,

Cántame sones istmeños, mamá

Música que no muere.

No me llores, no, no me llores no.

Porque si lloras, yo muero

En cambio si tú me cantas yo siempre vivo y nunca muero.

Sung by Son Istmeño

Felipe Arnulfo Rosa

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Felipe Arnulfo Rosa. Digital collage: Jan Nimmo ©

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Felipe Arnulfo Rosa. Digital collage: Jan Nimmo ©

Felipe Arnulfo Rosa, from Rancho Papa near Ayutla de los Libres (the place where turtles are abundant), Guerrero, is one of the students at the Normalista “Raúl Isidro Burgos” teacher training school in Ayotzinapa. He was forcibly disappeared along with another 42 students, in Iguala in Sept 2014, at the hands of local, municipal and state police. He was 20 years old at the time of his disappearance.

In researching this piece I watched film shot at his family home, a basic wooden shack, and listened to his mother speak of how he helped out with family chores –  they are campesinos, She spoke of how he’d get up at 5 am to go to study and how he wanted to make things better for his indigenous family. She is in tears as she shows the camera his well worn huaraches, (sandals), so ordinary, so typical and so very, very empty.

Felipe likes music and plays guitar. I don’t know what music he listens to or plays but I have used the lyrics of a “chilena” called La Sanmarqueña and a few lines from “Pajarillo Jilguero” or “Little Goldfinch”, another son from the Costa Chica, in this collage. It’s a sad son by El Conjunto de los Hermanos Molinathat I have listened to since I first visited Mexico back in the mid 90’s.

Pajarillo Jilguero préstame tus alas, préstame tus alas

Para llevarle un recuerdo a mi amada, a mi amada.

Padres que tienen hijas, que las maltratan, que las maltratan

Yo que las quiero mucho, yo que las quiero tanto

Diós me las quitan y Dios me las matan

Pájaro que abandona su primer nido, su primer nido

Pájaro que abandona su primer nido, su primer nido

Si lo encuentra ocupado, su merecido, su merecido.

Each time I work on a collage I learn a little about each of these boys. I’m not even a quarter of the way through making the portraits of the 43 students so I am reminded of how big a number 43 is; a big number within an enormous number; 22,000. There have been 32,000 people disappeared over the last two electoral terms in Mexico. Every time I look on Twitter, at the pages of the disappeared, La Alameda’s tweets from all over the Republic, I learn that every day there are more missing women, children and men, and murdered journalists and activists too. I look online to see the places where the boys came from and amongst the images of town squares, indigenous crafts and rural life there are shockingly violent images of clandestine graves and of young men who have been executed and dumped like pieces of rubbish. So part of the process of making these pieces is to cry buckets but also to try and keep hold of what is beautiful.

Jan Nimmo © 2015

#Ayotzinapa

Magdaleno Rubén Lauro Villegas

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Magdaleno Rubén Lauro Villegas. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

Yo, Jan Nimmo, Glasgow, Escocia, quiero saber dónde está Magdaleno Rubén Lauro Villegas. Digital Collage: © Jan Nimmo

Magdaleno Rubén Lauro Villegas, “El Magda”, son of Francisco and Julieta, was 19 years old at the time of his disappearance in Sept 2014. He is from the La Montaña region of Guerrero, Mexico and was studying at the Escuela Rural “Raul Isidro Burgos”, Ayotzinapa, to become a bilingual teacher.

Vivos se los llevaron, Vivimos los queremos.

They took them alive, we want them back alive.

#TodosSomosAyotzinapa #IlustradoesConAyotzinapa