A beautiful sunny day, still cold but it is sunny and we’ve been missing the sunshine! When we have been to Santa Fe in the past we have been without a car, getting around on foot so we never made it up to Museum Hill and while not everyone is interested in spending too much time in museums we chose one, the Museum of International Folk Art. The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, share the same hilltop location, as does the Santa Fe Botanical Garden.
The Museum of International Folk Art displays items from more than 100 countries around the globe through their folk arts. The Girard Wing showcased folk art, toys, miniatures and textiles collected over the lifetime of Alexander Girard, an architect and designer who not only contributed his amazing collection but also designed the entire exhibition.
Another gallery featured flamenco from Spain to New Mexico with vintage videos and beautiful dance costumes.
One of the more touching exhibits was the in the Gallery of Conscience devoted to social issues. Between Two Worlds: Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigration Experiences explores the human side of immigration through paintings and works on paper about immigrant journeys and the challenges of transitioning to a new home. Visitors are invited to partake in the current exhibition by telling their own stories; notebooks are stationed around the room.
A large trunk holds note cards you can fill out . . . the question to answer “If you could take only one thing with you to a new land what would it be?” The card on top said “courage”. It was very thought provoking and moving. A poem also caught my eye written by a 16-year-old girl whose family immigrated making Santa Fe their home.
Every day as you wake up
People are already up and working
Up and waking
Up and running, for their lives
Crossing deserts, crossing rivers
Under the hot, burning sun
Through storms and rain
With thirst, with hunger
Overwhelmed, depressed, crushed, torn
Overall terrified, frightened
Scared that that will be the last day
Scared to be caught, because
They left their family; lost memories
They left their land, their language and culture
Because there weren’t enough jobs
Therefore no money, therefore no access to good education or to good nutrition for their
Family; no opportunities
They left to “the land of opportunities”
“the land of the free”
“the land of the brave”
They left and when the arrived
They were criticized, they were discriminated against
They were called ugly names like “wetbacks, beaners, aliens, illegal’s,
Brown people, brown people because we are not humans we are just colors
Yet, they still keep going
They still survive
I have a question, If Latin Americans are called ‘wetbacks’ for crossing a river
Then what are you ancestors called for crossing an entire ocean?