On sewing and birth



Before I left Cali, my uncle called me into his room and handed me a shirt. “Nubia sewed this for me many years ago. You should take it and use it in your play.”


I never learnt to sew. Like drawing and dancing salsa, sewing was an action I grew up watching my mother do and never wanted to try. I will never paint, dance, or sew like my mother. My grandmother taught my mother how to sew on her sewing machine. For this performance, my mother taught me how to sew over Skype. With this piece I attempt to claim the heritage of the women in my family. I have put up curtains I have sewn, I sew bags for my guests, and I listen and translate into English my aunt’s interview, her Spanish and my Spanish, throughout the performance. Through my body and my actions I experience the female Colombian identity that I long to call mine, the female heritage that I have rejected and that hurts when I am called to represent my identity. I take on my grandmother’s actions and memories and I make them my mask.