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The Africomexican Art of Marbella Figueroa

What does the Mexican artist Marbella Figueroa want to express through her work? Her alma mater is UNAM (Universidad Autónoma de México) university where she studied Visual Arts with a specialisation in audiovisual media. Currently, her literary and artistic work explores blackness, ancestral connections and the body.

Co-founder of Afrofeminas, Marbella’s work is to create the designs in the website. She also writes reflections on racism and question the exclusive and patriarchal Mexican society. As she mentioned, Mexico is a country that denies and ignores the African roots of its population.

Marbella has African ascendence and darker skin tones than other Mexicans. This characteristic has given her problems to be accepted in certain social circules, where being non white is seen as inferior or unworthy of opportunities. But Marbella is strong and have decided to face the racism, to change attitude toward a dark skin color. Now she writes for different publics, talks about her life experience being black and tries to open spaces where Mexican black descendants can be listened and included in the conversation.

This artist questions the white and colonial feminism. In which she is excluded. It is worth reflecting, – how many non white feminist women are recognised and influential in todays world? Does feminism depends in a skin color?

For this reason, Marbella Figueroa has offered Art workshops in La Costa Chica de Guerrero and in Mexico City outskirts areas. One of her goals to increase people tolerance towards the non hegemonic appearances, decrease racism and create a better future for the black communities, free them from racism and exclusion.

Marbella Figueroa

Marbella talks about sorority: solidarity between women, especially in situations of sexual discrimination and sexist attitudes and behaviors. Nevertheless, she is aiming for more, she wants a world where all women can belong without being excluded due to their skin color, physical appearance, religion, culture or educational level. This artist believes in human dignity and does not believe in feminist theories or terms that mark the limits of what a woman should or should not be.

Marbella finds freedom of expression through her works: writings articles and making collages, a lot of elements “mixed”, obeying at the author’s order that want’s to send a strong and clear message. Her work reflects the complexity of her being, she expresses her feelings while sublimating them.

¿El Feminismo es Universal? by Marbella Figueroa

If you want to know more about her, you can read some of her articles in: @Afrochingonas, Pie de Página, Gimnasio de Arte, Luchadoras y Malvestida. You can also follow her on Instagram @Marbellabrilhinho, where you will find some of her work.

Finally, get to know her, suscribe to her YouTube channel, Marbella Figueroa. There she talks about some key moments in her life that lead her to become the person she is now. Because to understand an artistic expression, first we have to understand the context of the persons life.

I had the opportunity to talk to her, and soon I’ll release a new podcast episode where you will learn more about her life, work and her projects. Stay tuned!

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