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  • Thumbnail for Proof of residence (part one) : a creative ethnography
    Proof of residence (part one) : a creative ethnography by Lee, Guojun Susana

    Our worlds are storied landscapes (Cajete 1994). We shape and perpetuate our realities through the ways we story every aspect of life, including what health and illness look like respectively (Kleinman 1988, Avila 1999, Gonzales 2012), the boundaries of community (Peña 1998), what counts as knowledge, what being a resident of a place entails, and what it means to be human. Power differentials, including those created through colonization and genocide, come into play in determining which narratives enter and remain within public discourse (Scott 1990). When the places where we reside – “place” referring not only to physical spaces but the relationships of things to one another (Deloria 2001) – do not feel safe and accepting, we suffer open wounds to the soul. In order to re-establish our daily realities as embracing places for our souls to return to and reside, we are in need of una gran limpia, a radical cleansing and decolonization of all of our relationships. There exist systems of knowing with far more power than any colonizing narrative, a power that comes from first allegiances, original instructions, and webs of original relationships that we are embedded in. I have chosen to participate in the gran limpia by contributing a creative ethnography and a documentary. My intention is to bring together images and voices into a plática (heart-to- heart talk) (Avila 1999, Gonzales 2012) bearing witness to Indigenous Knowledge as it speaks truth to the concept of residence.