– Autumn/Winter 2018

To the Last Consequences: Mujeres Creando in Conversation with Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz and Pablo Lafuente

Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, Pablo Lafuente

Installation view, ‘Mujeres Creando. Ten cuidado con el presente que construyes, debe parecerse al futuro que sueñas’ (Mujeres Creando. Be Careful with the Present You Build, It Must Look Like the Future You Dream Of), Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2000. Photograph: Román Lores and Joaquín Cortés. Courtesy Mujeres Creando and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Mujeres Creando is a collective formed in 1992 in La Paz, Bolivia. It operates in several fields – from provision of legal aid and social programmes to radio broad-casting and artistic-political interventions – always with an activist approach and from an anarcho-feminist perspective. This conversation took place on 20 and 21 March 2018 in La Paz, with three members of Mujeres Creando: Danitza Luna, María Galindo and Yolanda Mamani, at La Virgen de los Deseos (Our Lady of Desires), the house from which Mujeres Creando operate in La Paz.1

The House

Danitza Luna: La Virgen de los Deseos is the heart, the refuge, the place of rest for Mujeres Creando. It’s also its political centre. Many debates happen here, and we try to encourage people to circulate, discuss and think. Many people have taken refuge here.2 Here, there is a feeling that, ‘I can say what I think and nobody will stop me from doing so’.

Yolanda Mamani: For me the house is

  1. We, Max and Pablo, have previously worked with Mujeres Creando in various contexts; for example, as curators in: ‘The Potosí Principle: How Can We Sing the Songs of the Lord in an Alien Land?’, Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2010; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2010; Museo Nacional de Arte and Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore, La Paz, 2011; and ‘How to (…) Things that Don’t Exist’, 31st Bienal de São Paulo, 2014.

  2. Translator’s note: the pronoun ‘nosotras’ (the feminine ‘we’) is pervasive among responses from Mujeres Creando members. This is unusual as Spanish, unlike English, does not allow for the subject to be easily omitted.

  3. El Alto is a city contiguous with La Paz.

  4. Evo Morales was elected president of Bolivia in 2005 and assumed office in 2006, after massive popular and social movement mobilisations that lasted from 1999–2005.

  5. The southern part of La Paz, ‘Zona Sur’, is known for its wealthy, exclusive neighbourhoods and commercial and financial areas.

  6. Espacio para abortar (Space for Abortion) is a project presented in the 31st Bienal de São Paulo. It consisted of light cylindrical structures, conceived as ‘uteruses’, in which visitors could listen to accounts of women who had had an abortion, a practice that is illegal in Brazil. The women were convoked through a contact process with women’s organisations in the centre and at the periphery of São Paulo.

  7. Chola is a name used to define an iconic, urban, female figure of mestizo-culture; usually mixing indigenous and white culture, clothing, origin and appearance. Originally a derogatory term, it is now in Bolivia claimed with pride by large groups of the population, and many cholas – well known for their wealth and ostentatious, expensive clothing – are important public figures and fixtures of the social life of La Paz and El Alto.

  8. Miragroso altar blasfemo (Miraculous Blasphemous Altar) is a mural presented for the first time at the contemporary art biennial SIART, La Paz in 2016 and later, in modified versions, in ‘Muros blandos’ (‘Soft Walls’), Museo Salvador Allende, Santiago de Chile, 2017–18 and ‘La intimidad es política’ (‘Intimacy Is Political’), Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, 2017.