In part, this project is a response to 'Huipiles: A Celebration' (Museo Alameda, 2007) and Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros and how through them I felt my being in Nepantla, an in-between space. As far as ‘Huipiles’ is concerned, I am responding to the formula (Chicano/a) body + (Mexican) garment = meaning and to the feeling that I both am and am not (both to deeply felt degrees) part of the San Anto community that was present and/or invested in the show, its controversies, and the debates that surround(ed) them.
Reading Caramelo, I felt my own fluctuations between intense identification with moments in the novel—having intimate knowledge of particular smells, colors, scenes, etc.— and a ghostliness (or "ghostly subjectivity" as María Lugones puts it), a being rendered suddenly ephemeral, an observant phantom, as I was written through moments of radical distance by Cisneros, of recognizing that any roots I might share with the experiences written are tenuous as best. In both, I felt my in-between-ness, possibly as Gloria Anzaldúa felt and wrote hers; between Chicano/a and gringo, Mexican and American, global and intimate, between sexual identities, between the available ways of speaking my body, even between understandings of fashion and utility.
Nepantla is one name for these unnameable spaces.