Mujeres Creando just came out with a new book called Mujeres Grafiteando. I haven’t been able to find this book any where. So, if anyone knows how to get ahold of a copy, let us know.
More pictures and a statement by one of the members of Mujeres Creando are featured on Indy Media Ecuador.
Bellow is an article about them that was featured in Quiet Rummors, An Anarcha-Feminist Reader.
Mujeres Creando interviewed by Katherine Ainger
‘We decided on autonomy from political parties, NGOs, the state, hegemonic groups who wish to represent us. We don’t want bosses, figureheads or exalted leaders. Nobody represents anybody else — each woman represents herself.’
‘We believe that how we relate to people in the street is the most important thing. We have a newspaper which we edit and sell ourselves, and creative street actions. We paint graffiti – las pintadas – this is one of the communicative forms that really gets through to people. It began as a criticism of what the Left is — and the Right. It was our response to their painting in the streets saying “vote for so-and-so”. They were affirmative or negative phrases, “no to the vote”, “yes to this”, “no to that”. What we do instead is we appeal to poetry and creativity, to suggest ideas which aren’t just “yes” or “no”, “Left” or “Right”.’
‘Our aims aren’t always centred on women’s themes like abortion, reproductive rights, motherhood. The Government says: “you can dedicate yourselves to those issues, full stop.” And we may say “no”. Or we may say “yes, that interests us”. We have positions on abortion, birth control, but don’t categorize us! We are involved’ in everything: we are part of society. And for this reason we paint graffiti about different things. There is graffiti which provokes men, graffiti provoking the Government, graffiti which is only directed at women, graffiti about the political situation.
‘For us, the street is a space like a common patio, where we can all be, including children. In Europe, everything is controlled: whether or not you can march, whether or not you can protest, whether or not you can sell things. In Bolivia, the streets belong to the people: people doing things, people selling things — the streets are ours.
‘It is very important that what we do in the street interacts with people, talks to them so that they can see the graffiti, that it should provoke something in them, provoke laughter, provoke annoyance, provoke anger, provoke many things.
‘People want to dispossess us of something that is ours. To turn creativity into something elitist. But creativity is human — it belongs to all women and men. It is fundamental to everything we do, in the books we make, in the street actions, in the graffiti. There are people who say to us: “you’re artists.” But we are not artists, we are street activists.’
‘After three-and-a-half months, we managed to sit down with the large banking and financial associations and the Deudora group and achieved an agreement. Now people whose houses were being auctioned off have had their debts excused.
‘Once an agreement was signed that benefited the debtors, we organized a kind of festival with flowers and bread. The children began to share out the bread with everyone, a symbol of the olla (collective cooking pot) of the poor- the poor who share what they have.’