Oral Hxstories | Entrevistas

Image of Historias Monarca logo.

  • Image of Seed Bombs shaped into sugar skulls

    Written Stories | Cuentos Escritos

  • Image of Maestro Duarte's Mosaic mural on the Western Pink Line CTA stop

    Oral Hxstories | Entrevistas

  • Image of Historias Monarca Zine Cover designed by Yollocalli Youth Council

    Community Programs | Programas

  • Image of la catrina in monarch dress holding purple coneflowers

    Resources | Recursos

Throughout the duration of the project, Historias Monarca has collected several recorded oral hxstories. These stories have been collected from artists, members from neighboring communities, students and staff from the UIC Latino Cultural Center. These stories were done through a series of interviews in the form of conversations with the participant around topics of migration, family practices and values, and the importance of environmentally friendly practices. These oral hxstories are the heart of the Historias Monarca project. Please enjoy them!

Historias Monarca ha recolectado varias entrevistas con artistas, comunidades, estudiantes Mexicanx en Chicago. Las entrevistas tomaron forma en conversaciones sobre migración, prácticas y valores aprendidas con familia, y la importancias de justicia ambiental. Los invitamos que escuchen las entrevistas y aprenda más sobre Historias Monarca!

Ana

Ana is a student focused on children in the juvenile justice system at the university. She came to the US from Mexico when she was five years old with her mom and brothers and reunited with her dad in Chicago. During her interview, she tells family stories about día de los muertos, how her family taught her to care for the earth, stories of raising monarchs, and how the monarch butterfly is a symbol natural migration. Learn more about Ana and what the monarch butterfly means to her:

  Transcription

Ana es una estudiante en la universidad concentrada en la juventud de la sistema de justicia juvenil. Vino a los EEUU desde México cuando tenía cinco años con su mamá y hermanos para reunirse con su papá en chicago. Durante su entrevista, habla sobre cuentos de familia sobre día de los muertos, el mantenimiento de la tierra como aprendida de su familia, cuentos sobre criando monarcas, y la monarca como símbolo de migración natural. Aprende más sobre Ana y lo que  la mariposa monarca significa para ella.

Monstrochika

Naomi Martinez also known as “Monstrochika” is a painter, muralist, doll and zine maker raised in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood from Durangueño and Tejana background. She is part of Mujeres Mutantes collective at Port Ministries in Back of the Yards neighborhood and a Social Pollinator. Throughout her interview, she illustrates her progression as an artist, her family’s migrant histories from Durango and the South to Chicago, intergenerational trauma and resilience, art’s role in pollinating society, and the monarch butterfly as a symbol of rootedness and resistance to intergenerational violence. Learn more about Monstrochika and what the monarch butterfly means to her:

Transcription

Naomi Martinez o “Monstrochika” es una pintora, muralista, creadora de muñecas y zines criada en la comunidad de Logan Square en Chicago, y es de descendencia Durangueña y Tejana. Naomi es parte de la colectiva Mujeres Mutantes con Port Ministries en la comunidad Back of the Yards y es una polinizadora social. Durante su entrevista, explica el proceso de progresión como artista, las historias de migración de su familia desde Durango, México y el Sur de los Estados Unidos a Chicago, trauma intergeneracional y la resiliencia creada a raíz de ese trauma, el arte como polinizador de la sociedad, y la mariposa monarca como símbolo de resistencia a la violencia intergeneracional. Aprenda más sobre Monstrochika y lo que la mariposa monarca significa para ella.

 

Andrea

Andrea is a student educator at the Latino Cultural Center in the University of Illinois at Chicago. She grew up in an intergenerational home with her maternal family who migrated from Zacatecas, Mexico to Cicero, Illinois. Throughout her interview, she reflects on her grandmother’s wisdom in the garden, a monarch butterfly embodying the soul of her departed uncle, the migration of her family as a natural migration, and the monarch butterfly as a symbol that guides hope. Learn more about Andrea and what the monarch butterfly means to her:

 Transcription

Andrea es una educadora estudiantil en el Centro Cultural Latino en la Universidad de Illinois en Chicago. Creció en un hogar intergeneracional con su familia maternal, la cual migró desde Zacatecas, México a Cicero, Illinois. Durante su entrevista, ella reflexiona sobre la sabiduría de su abuela en el jardín, la mariposa monarca como la alma de su tío, la migración de su familia como una migración natural, y la mariposa monarca como un símbolo que guía la esperanza. Aprenda más sobre Andrea y lo que  la mariposa monarca significa para ella.

Edith

Edith is a first generation Mexican American from the Little Village Community in Chicago. She is the program coordinator at the Latino Cultural Center in the University of Illinois, Chicago. She has been working with beads and creating jewelry since she was 8 years old. During her interview, she unwinds her experiences of resisting gardening as a child to embracing her patch of purple coneflower now, her connections to día de los muertos and her recent awareness of monarch butterflies embodying souls, and her migration within gardening influenced by her mother’s garden.  Learn more about Edith and what the monarch butterfly means to her:

Transcription

Edith es una mexicoamericana de la comunidad de La Villita en Chicago. Ella es la coordinadora de programas en el Centro Cultural Latino en la Universidad de Illinois en Chicago. Ha trabajado creando joyería desde que tenía ocho años. Durante su entrevista, desenrolla sus experiencias con la jardinería como niña, sus flores echinaceas y el proceso de sembrarlas y cuidarlas, sus conexiones al día de los muertos, su conocimiento recientemente adquirido sobre las mariposas monarcas como almas de seres queridos, y su jardinería inspirada por el jardín de su mamá.  Aprenda más sobre Edith y lo que  la mariposa monarca significa para ella.

James

James was born and raised in a small town called Kankakee, Illinois, which is an hour south of Chicago. He is a child of Mexican immigrants who come from small town communities in Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosí. During his interview, he remembers the knowledge inspired by his family connected to growing produce and caring for the earth, the impact of his school’s heritage garden focusing on native plants of Chicago, the stories of raising and releasing two monarchs, and the monarch butterfly as a symbol of migration. Learn more about James and what the monarch butterfly means to him:

 Transcription

James nació y creció en un pueblito llamado Kankakee, Illinois que se hace una hora sur de Chicago. El es un hijo de inmigrantes mexicanos que vienen de pueblitos en Nuevo León y San Luis Potosí. Durante su entrevista, recuerda la sabiduría inspirada por su familia en conexión con plantar vegetales y demostrando cariño para la tierra, el impacto del jardín en su escuela que se dedica a plantas indígenas a la área de Chicago, cuentos sobre creando monarcas, y la mariposa monarca como un símbolo de migración. Aprenda más sobre James y lo que  la mariposa monarca significa para el.

Piloto

Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves Ruiz es un artista/escultor en la ciudad de Chicago. El es de Querétaro en el estado de San Luis Potosí, México. Piloto se dedica a construir esculturas de barro y utiliza objetos reciclables, y hasta basura, para reflejar ciertos problemas sociales y temas culturales y del ambiente. Durante su entrevista, Piloto describe el significado y propósito de su arte, su travesía desde México hasta los Estados Unidos, su proceso y lucha en convertirse en artista, y como así como su arte la mariposa monarca simboliza transformación ambo física como espiritual. Aprenda más sobre Piloto y lo que  la mariposa monarca significa para el:

Transcripción

Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves Ruiz is an artist/sculptor in the city of Chicago. He is from Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, México. Piloto is dedicated to the construction of mud sculptures and uses recycled objects and even trash to reflect the social problems and themes of culture and the environment. During his interview, Piloto describes the meaning and purpose of his art, his journey from México to the US, his process and struggles of becoming an artist, and how just like his art the monarch butterfly symbolizes transformation at both the physical and spiritual level. Learn more about Piloto and what the monarch butterfly means to him.

Jocelyn

Jocelyn is a Queer-Chilanga-Researcher recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago. For some time now Jocelyn has been an organizer and activist working on issues of the immigrant community, as well as the LGBTQ community. Jocelyn’s story reflects her journey from immigrating to the US to her time in higher education. Her story, just like the monarch’s, is story of hard work, perseverance and dedication. Learn more about Jocelyn and what the monarch butterfly means to her:

Transcription

Jocelyn es una Investigadora-Queer-Chilanga recientemente graduada de la Universidad de Illinois en Chicago. Jocelyn ha pasado mucho tiempo como organizadora y activista trabajando por las causas de la comunidad de inmigrantes y de la comunidad  LGBTQ. La historia de Jocelyn refleja su jornada desde inmigrar a los Estados Unidos hasta su carrera universitaria. Su historia, así como la de la monarca,  es una historia de esfuerzo, perseverancia y dedicación. Aprende más sobre Jocelyn y lo que la mariposa monarca significa para ella.

Jessica

Jessica is the College Pipeline Specialist at Enlace Chicago with the Little Village Education Collaborative. She was born and raised in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. Her parents are immigrants from Michoacán, México. During her interview, she remembers her grandmother’s garden, her responsibility to the monarch butterfly as someone who traveled frequently between Chicago and Michoacán, her work at the Field Museum, and the monarch as a symbol of the natural world. Learn more about Jessica and what the monarch butterfly means to her:

Transcription

Jessica es la especialista universitaria en Enlace Chicago con la collaborativa educativa de la villita. Nacio y crecio en la comunidad de albany park en Chicago. Su madre y padre son migrantes de Michoacán, México. Durante su entrevista, recuerda el jardín de su abuela, su responsabilidad a la mariposa monarca porque viajaba frecuentemente entre Chicago y Michoacán, su trabajo con el Field Museum, y la monarca como un símbolo de la naturaleza. Aprende más sobre Jessica y lo que  la mariposa monarca significa para ella.

Lena

Lena is third generation Chicago Mexican and Irish from the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago. Her mother’s grandparents first came from Guanajuato, México to Chicago. During her interview, she reflects on the rituals of her family’s garden, her childhood community mobilizing for more green spaces within their neighborhood, the first time she learned about monarchs from her aunt, and how magical the natural world can be.  Learn more about Lena and what the monarch butterfly means to her:

Transcription

Lena es parte de la tercera generación de su familia mexicana y irlandesa en Chicago. Es de la comunidad Irving Park en Chicago. La abuela y abuelo de su mamá migraron desde Guanajuato, México a Chicago. Durante su entrevista, refleja sobre los rituales de su familia con el jardín, los esfuerzos de su comunidad para tener espacios verdes, la primera vez en que su tía le enseñó sobre las monarcas,  y la magia de la naturaleza. Aprende más sobre Lena y lo que la mariposa monarca significa para ella.

Gonzalo

Gonzalo is from Quiringuicharo, Michoacán, but resides in Chicago. He recently graduated from University of Illinois in Chicago. During his interview, Gonzalo reflects on the traditions of his town, the symbolism of the monarch to his town, the beliefs of his people, and migration and the effects that it has had on  his family and his town. Learn more about Gonzalo and what the monarch butterfly means to him:    

Transcription

Gonzalo es de Quiringuicharo, Michoacán, pero vive en Chicago. Recientemente, se graduo de la Universidad de Illinois en Chicago. Durante su entrevista, Gonzalo reflexiona acerca de las tradiciones de su pueblo, el simbolismo de la monarca para su pueblo, las creencias de su gente y la migración como también los efectos que esta ha tenido en su familia y en si pueblo. Aprende más sobre Gonzalo y lo que la mariposa monarca significa para el.

Duarte

Maestro Duarte nació en Caurio, Michoacán. En 1985, llegó a Chicago como muralista y pintor. Usa la mariposa monarca  para hablar sobre la identidad cultural y migración. Estudio el muralismo en el taller de David Alfaro Siqueiros. Ha pintado con El Valor y Casa Michoacán en los jardines de Chicago. Durante su entrevista, explica la conexión entre el metamorphosis de la mariposa y la transformación de una persona, sus experiencias como migrante a Chicago de México, y el simbolismo de la mariposa monarca entre su trabajo. Aprende más sobre Maestro Duarte y lo que  la mariposa monarca significa para el:

Transcripción

Maestro Duarte was born in Caurio, Michoacán and moved to Chicago in 1985. He is a muralist, printmaker, and painter who illustrates the Monarch butterfly to address issues of migration and cultural identity. He studied mural painting in the David Alfaro Siqueiros workshop. He has worked with Chicago’s El Valor and Casa Michoacan creating art with their gardens  During his interview, he addresses the connection between the butterfly’s metamorphosis and a person’s transformation, his experiences as an immigrant to Chicago, and the symbolism of the monarch butterfly within his work. Learn more about Maestro Duarte and what the monarch butterfly means to him.

Key Term

Social Pollinator – The Latino Cultural Center conceptualized artists as social pollinators, because they help to share ideas and spark the seeds of change as active cultural workers, addressing important community challenges through creative practices. Equally, animal pollinators, the vast majority of which are insects and birds, are vital to our food chain. This includes butterflies, bees, ants, beetles, wasps, moths, hummingbirds, and bats–the only mammals that can fly! The metaphor in this connection is that both animal pollinators and artists need to be protected and nourished because without animal pollinators, humans would not have much to eat, and without arts and cultural resources, the world will lose the most influential source of creativity needed to solve common challenges and enrich our lives.