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Disolución al 4%, about the artwork

Mayra Johnson y Guadalupe Casasnovas, Disolución Al 4%, 2011. Digital print, 30 x 40 in.

While award winning Disolución al 4% offers a social critique to the Dominican Republic’s failure to provide minimum support for education, for the Black Latinas Know Collective (BLKC) the art figures powerful in additional ways. The digital piece speaks to the specific power source and potentials of Black Latina girlhood and womanhood. We are Black Latina scholars who have long experienced the white supremacist racial worlds that inscribe knowledge production and academia with particular notions of Latinidad and Blackness that overlook us. Like the Black Latina girl in these images, we see and resist the disciplining and external formulations of our thought and our bodies. We assert that our personal experiences are indelible to any scholarship about Latinas/os/xs.

We also challenge race scholarship that misrepresent our experience, surmises its newness, and trivializes its complexity in packaged sampling. We reclaim the connection of our deep experience to our long, painstakingly forged raced and gendered ontologies and epistemologies. Through the Black Latinas Know Collective (BLKC) statement and blog, we face forward and demand engagement with the scholarly world and its knowledges through us, our words, our contributions, and our actions.

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