As an illustrator known mostly for portraits of families, individuals and commercial clients, I seldom have the chance to pencil, ink and color subjects more closely related to my own beliefs and convictions. Because of this, the opportunity to work on this show immediately became an irresistible, personal affair.
For me, protecting the environment against the exploits of late capitalism is, more often than not, deeply intertwined with women's rights. This seems to be the case all around the world, but is specially true in Latin America, where it is women who—for some reason or another—appear to be the ones more consistently taking up the fight for nature, usually against terrible odds.
From the infamous assassination of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres in April of this year, to the recent harassment of Peruvian Máxima Acuña—both of them winners of the famed Goldman Environmental Prize—we mostly find out about these women and their causes when their voices are silenced, if at all.
Through my work, I intend to put a face to the names of these and other fighting women from Latin America, and in doing so, to give them a new voice in the space between their portraits and my audience.
It is important that we learn about their lives and what they stand for as defenders of the resources that keep them and their communities alive. We also need to reflect on how our own realities can be so removed but, at the same time, so materially connected to their struggles. It’s important to me as a Latin American and it’s important to me as a woman.
If at least one girl, happening to come across this show, feels enough curiosity to ask about—or even look up—any of the women featured, I’ll feel my work has served a purpose, however small in relation to their lasting legacy.