Culture

This Indigenous Man Had To Face Harsh Criticisms For Being A Weaver—Now He’s Presenting His Designs At NY Fashion Week

Alberto López Gómez was born into a Tzotzil family in Aldama, Chiapas — a region of Mexico marked by economic and gender inequality. In Aldama, indigenous men work in the fields while the women weave, and this has been customary since time immemorial. Alberto, however, wanted to be a weaver since he was a child and after defying his community’s social structure, his designs are taking him as far as New York Fashion Week.

For Alberto López Gómez, it was clear from childhood that he wanted to be a weaver.

In 2014, López Gómez decided to challenge traditional thinking. He was 25 and until that point had followed his culture’s expectations. He decided to change his life. The Los Altos region of Chiapas is Maya country where most people live in rural and traditional communities where the roles of men and women are strongly delineated.

He had to deal with disapproving stares and being told over and over that his place was the fields.

“A young man who is working at a loom is frowned upon. I thought things over and told my mother that I wanted to learn how to weave, and my mother said, ‘You know that men work in the fields.’” “But I answered that I had the right to learn how to weave,” he said in an interview with the German Network for Human Rights in Mexico.

Four years after he started knitting with his sisters, the Chiapas man, who had to face harsh criticisms for being a weaver, runs his own workshop.

Every day at 6:00 a.m. he got up to weave for as many as 14 hours at a time, allowing him to hone his technique. “I was hiding within four walls, working in my house,” he says. “People were whispering at my walk, but we are breaking the chain.” Later he moved to the tourist destination of San Cristóbal de las Casas where he established his own business. Here, over 130 Tzotzil artisans bring their textiles where they can get fair prices and be treated with respect.

Six years later, his talent and perseverance have paid off.

Gómez is slated to present his work and that of his community at Harvard University and New York’s prestigious Fashion Week. At the end of January, he will travel to Boston to give a talk about the cosmology found on traditional Tzotzil huipils, the square or rectangular garments common in central and southern Mexico, that are often highly decorated with woven and/or embroidered patterns. These designs are linked to the traditional beliefs and customs of a location.

He will present his own collection “K’uxul Pok” at the 2020 New York Fashion Week.

Posted by Aula Textil P'ejel on Friday, October 4, 2019

The designs of his ‘Huipiles’ (from the Nahuatl word ‘huipilli’), blouses adorned with symbols of the cosmos, family, and nature, take about five months to produce following a traditional procedure.

We’ll have to wait until Feb. 6 to see the essence of Mayan spirituality woven into a “huipil” on a catwalk.

Posted by Aula Textil P'ejel on Thursday, January 2, 2020

In the meantime, Gómez, who has nothing to stop him has set himself other challenges: to create a museum of textile designs in his native region of Aldama to showcase his work and that of his companions and to write a memoir about the difficult journey he has made, which he hopes will inspire other young men in his community to become weavers.

“As indigenous people, we don’t know about our rights,” says the Chiapas artist. “Machismo has beaten us,” he adds. Yet stories like his weave a much more egalitarian future and build bridges between tradition and modernity.

Someone Claims That They Discovered A Long-Lost Frida Kahlo Painting But Experts Don’t Agree

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Someone Claims That They Discovered A Long-Lost Frida Kahlo Painting But Experts Don’t Agree

Frida Kahlo - La Mesa Herida - The wounded Table - Der verwundete Tisch / YouTube

Frida Kahlo is one of the most iconic artists in global history. The Mexican artist was known for blazing her own path both in art and in society. One of her most famous paintings “The Wounded Table” has been missing for 65 years but one art dealer claims he found it.

A Spanish art dealer claims to have found a long-lost Frida Kahlo painting.

Kahlo painted “The Wounded Table” in 1940 and over the years it disappeared. It is unknown if it was returned to Moscow, was lost, or destroyed. All that is known is that Kahlo’s largest painting to that date is gone.

Cristian López Márquez, a little known art dealer in Spain, claims to have found the long-lost and highly sought after painting. According to La Voz de Galicia, the art dealers claims to have acquired the painting from some who settled in Spain from Mexico.

The painting is one of Kahlo’s most famous works of art.

The decades-long mystery about where the painting ended up does add to the allure of the claim. However, people are not convinced that the painting is a fake that is being peddled by someone who is after money by selling an inauthentic painting. To make matters more skeptical, the art dealer has very few details but is adamant about its authenticity.

“Time will give us the truth,” Márquez told AP. “Whoever proves genuine interest and the ability to pay the figure of 40 million euros, can spend as much time as wanted with their experts analyzing the work.”

Despite Márquez’s claims, art historians are very skeptical that the painting is true.

Márquez claims to have the painting safe in a warehouse in London. He has put the painting on sale asking for $45 million. No one seems to be biting but Márquez continues to say the painting is an original.

READ: Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul Is Celebrating Her 113th Birthday With A Week Full Of Digital Events

Mexico Closes Border With Arizona To Keep Americans Out Following COVID-19 Outbreak

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Mexico Closes Border With Arizona To Keep Americans Out Following COVID-19 Outbreak

John Moore / Getty Images

Mexico is taking measures to protect its citizens from the rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. Parts of the Mexico-U.S. border was closed in Arizona by Mexican authorities in response to the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19.

It started when the state of Sonora toughened border restrictions as Arizona’s COVID-19 number skyrocketed.

Arizona is facing one of the toughest COVID-19 surges in the country. Numbers are spiking across the U.S. following the rapid, and in some states sudden, reopenings. Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona are all reporting numbers that have health experts concerned about the outlook of the U.S.’s ability to control the virus.

“We are all going to be on alert at this time to prevent them from coming, whether they are Mexicans living in the U.S., Americans or those who want to come to spend the weekend and put a greater burden on us regarding COVID,” Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich told the Arizona Daily Star.

Some Mexican citizens took it upon themselves to block Americans from entering their country.

Mexican residents along the Arizona border created makeshift blockades to keep Americans from flooding popular beach destinations. Mexican citizens used their cars and other objects to block Americans as the state governments backed their actions.

“We invite US tourists not to visit Mexico,” Sonoyta’s mayor, José Ramos Arzate, said in a statement. “We agreed on this to safeguard the health of our community in the face of an accelerated rate of Covid-19 contagion in the neighboring state of Arizona.”

Sonoyta is a U.S.-Mexico border town with roads that lead to Puerto Peñasco, a beach town on the Sea of Cortés. Mexicans are fighting to protect their own health as the U.S. continues to let the COVID-19 crisis get worse.

The United States has been setting daily records as COVID-19 infections continue to spread out of control. Health experts are warning that the U.S. is still in the first wave of the virus since the first wave never ended. The lack of containment has led to countries banning American tourists because the virus is still not under control.

There are things we can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Health experts suggest wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and being diligent about hygiene to slow the spread of the virus. Stay safe and stay healthy.

READ: Gay Man Dubbed Karen For Saying He Wants Everyone To Catch COVID In IG Video