For Laura Aguilar, photography was more than just a way to express herself but an outlet for the world to see another side of being Chicana. Whether it was capturing her Mexican-American heritage or her identity as a lesbian, Aguilar was a trailblazer whose impact touched many in the queer Latino community. The 58-year-old Los Angeles photographer died on Wednesday morning due to end-stage renal failure, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Laura’s passing is a profound loss,” said Chon Noriega, director of the Chicano Studies Research Center, according to LA Times. “She had an ability to cut through the biases and habits of thought that makes us see a smaller world than actually exists. And she did it as an expression of the stunning beauty of the human body, including her own.”
Her photography chronicled the lives and identities of marginalized people of color including herself.
One of the most prolific queer chicanx/brown photographers of Los Angeles, rest in power Laura Aguilar. pic.twitter.com/yqBsNxVGV9
Aguilar’s images were featured in exhibitions across the country including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, Artpace in San Antonio and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.
Her work was trailblazing for many in the queer community because of the raw and powerful subjects depicted.
sad to hear that one of my favourite artists, Laura Aguilar, queer latinx storyteller, feminist cartographer, passed away today pic.twitter.com/y2OWCJ9l1M
“Laura’s work a lot of time represents people that are marginalized and people that are oppressed or people that are invisible,” Sybil Venegas, a curator for Aguilar’s past exhibits, told LA Weekly. “Poor, large women of color — they tend to be invisible in society. Nobody sees them. They’re not represented in media.”
Fans of her work have taken to social media to honor her work and influence on their lives.
I’m grateful to have seen myself reflected in Aguilar’s photographs, art that centered fat, queer, Latinx bodies. Rest in love and power, Laura Aguilar. https://t.co/ILxEe0MzTk
As we’ve made our way into mainstream culture, we’ve inevitably had a non-Latino friend shooketh at the shit our moms put us through. They said one day we’d thank them, and this is mitú’s tribute to all the cray cray and our present day thoughts.
How many of these did your mom say? Comment with any we missed!
1. “When I was your age…”
It’s an oldie but a goodie. When Mama was my age, she could only afford to eat one slice of New York pizza a day and modeling for Barbizon three buses across the city. And I’m just “eating shit” on the computer (welcome to 2018, ma’, life and work is on the computer!).
2. “I have to do everything because you can’t do anything right.”
Response: a sarcastic smile and sarcastic bow to the queen.
Yeah, she’s going to hit you for that one.
3. “You don’t know how to turn the tortilla but you want a boyfriend.”
YES, MOM. Any boy that’s with me is going to have to flip their own tortilla. #Feminism
4. “See, I told you.”
“Ok, but I literally just fell out of a tree and broke my leg. Please, help?”
5. “Do you think I was born yesterday?”
I hated when I heard this because it meant that my mom had made up some elaborate conspiracy theory that I had to disprove. I sweaaaar, we’re not up to anything! We’re angels! ?
6. “God will punish you.”
When you did something so “bad” that she is just too disgusted to deal with you and let’s slip these three words: ?
7. “This house isn’t your hotel.”
Or better yet, “Do you think I’m your maid?” We’re children. We play with LEGOS. Let us be.
8. “Because I’m your mother.”
The jig is up folks. You think you’ve got logic and reason on your side, but as soon as she whips this one out, it’s all over. Don’t even try to argue.
9. “Son of a ____”
Filter? What filter? You mom has probably called you this to your face, pero liike, what is she saying about herself? ?
10. “Calm down before I make you calm down.”
I have chills. The full effect is in Spanish and I vow to never say this to my children. A variation might be, “Stop crying before I give you something to cry about.” YEESH.
11. “Who asked you?”
Oh you have an opinion, eh? Keep it to yourself, estupida. Do you need therapy yet? Let’s keep going.
12. “Do what you want”
Alright, so that sounds supportive right? Nope. This is code for “It’s your choice, but it’s a terrible one and I will chew you out alive if you go through with this.”
13. “Because you’re a fool”
Someone help me translate this. Basically, your mom was just like, “by way of you being a fool, of course this happened.” Two words can pack a punch.
14. Literal translation: “Go with caution.”
What she’s actually saying: “I’m this close to beating the shit out of you. Be careful what you say next.”
15. Literally, “Take that face off or you’ll see how it’s going to go in the house.”
What she’s actually saying: “Lose the sour face or we’ll see how it really looks when we get home (and I can explode in the privacy of our home).”
16. “Come so I can give you something to cry about.”
Sometimes, when I was sobbing, my mom would just pinch me really hard or yank my ear and tell me, “this is what real pain feels like.” OK, at this point, I’m concerned that my younger self but I promise she’s a really sweet lady.
17. “Who gave you permission to leave, eh?”
Your free will is a privilege in this house, you hear me? Never leave the house without permission.
18. “Sit better, you’re a lady.”
Yeah, your mom can talk about how your brothers need to take up all the space in the backseat so their fcking cojones can breath and I’m supposed to shrink. #NoGracias #SmashThePatriarchy #ImNoLady
19. “Get your shit together.”
You probably heard this around your school work a lot, and while your mom would not tutor you in anything but Spanish class, she always had this wise dicho for you. Thanks, mom!
20. “You already greeted everyone?”
There is nothing more important that your mom showing off the perfect gentleman or señorita she raised. You must greet everyone on each cheek or she’ll get you.
21. “Oh but last night it’s all party.”
This one comes at you early Saturday morning when she barges in your room with the cleaning supplies at 7am and you say you’re tired. I don’t know where Latina moms get their energy but maybe it comes with age? I’m praying.
22. “I’m mopping, don’t touch the floor!”
Is that a trick question? Nope! When el trapeando begins, the floor is lava and if you touch it you’ll feel the wrath of a thousand volcanos. It was the perfect excuse to stay on the couch and watch TV. 🙂
23. “Como que what, tell me mande.”
Never tell your Mexican mother, ‘como que.’ It’s a cardinal sin. Always say ‘mande’ if you want to keep your life.
24. “Be nice.”
You know how when you’re invited somewhere, it’s not about you, it’s about keeping up appearances. Well, she don’t care if you’re in a bad mood, your mama is going to tell you to be nice and shut down your mood. #ReasonsWhyWereCodependent
25. “Turn down the music, you’re going to become deaf.”
I truly believed my mom when she told me that as Avril Lavigne was blasting through my boom box. Like, I seriously feared I was going deaf.
26. “If I find it, you’re in trouble.”
Here’s your next move: run to your room, pray to St. Anthony that she never finds it and that you find it, and then pray to the Virgin Mary that your mom has mercy on you.
27. “I do everything for you and this is how you repay me?”
Usually, you’re feeling pretty shitty at this point, because it’s true. Our moms do everything for us, and Latina moms seem to sacrifice more than anyone, and give endlessly to us. I can hear my mom telling me this right now after reading this article. ?
I’M SO SORRY. TE AMO.
28. “What are you going to do the day I die?”
Moms love to talk about the day the die as leverage for forgiveness, or, in probably most cases, as a way to manipulate us into gratitude. Pero verdad, we can’t think about that day because we love our crazy ass moms so much, that the thought of a drama-free life feels like death to us. #VivaLaMama!
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