BULLS AND SAINTS

Since the beginning of the millennium, various competing groups of narcos destabilized the State of Michoacan, Mexico and especially the town of Cheran. Thousands fled for their lives to the US. A large part of this mass migration from Cheran settled in rural North Carolina. For many, the finality of their displacement became a catalyst to continue celebrating their traditional fiestas honoring the Saints of their hometown. At the same time, the rural setting allowed them to continue bull riding, another essential rite of passage.eu mattis iaculis, ex lorem mollis sem, ut sollicitudin risus orci quis tellus.

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While the Cheran community in North Carolina struggled to establish itself, the Cheran community in Mexico rose up against the narcos, corrupt police and politicians. The town-folk achieved the unimaginable, throwing them out and becoming an autonomous self-governing community that is unique in the context of modern Mexico. The key to their success is bringing back traditional Purépecha practices of usos y costumbres (uses and customs) that harken back to a pre-hispanic time: prioritizing environmental preservation, restorative justice and community “policing”. This is a de-facto and quotidian perspective of how one community divided by the border negotiates barriers to make themselves stronger and remain connected through their cultural traditions.

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We will follow two extended families on both sides of the border and our narrative structure will reflect this dynamic movement between generations and communities linked by their resilience and love of tradition. Even though many live in de-facto exile, we will include two Cheran artists who can cross back and forth. This, coupled with social media, counters the conventional narrative of the one-way relationship where the immigrant community only “present” when sending money back home.