In the summer semester of 2019, I took a Latin American and Caribbean Studies course about space and identity in Latin American history. For the final project, the class was given the opportunity to choose between writing a 12-page research paper or to create a piece of art in relation to any of the material we learned in the class. I decided to make a painting of an Aztec woman, crying tears of blood because of the destruction of the spaces that belonged to her people that began in 1515 CE by conquistadors. New Spain continued to send its people to Mesoamerica, where the Aztecs resided, to build churches on top of the Aztec temples. The Aztecs were forced to convert to Christianity. Otherwise, they would get killed.
Over the summer of 2018, I participated in a rally at Clark Park in which the residents of Southwest Detroit and surrounding areas came together to show support for those who had been detained by ICE. The rally consisted of members of the community talking about their relatives who had been detained or about their personal experiences. Our camping outside the detention center in Detroit delayed the deportation of detainees, so it was encouraged by the rally organizers. My painting, The Destruction of Aztec Spaces and Identities, similarly showcases the displacement of ethnic minorities.