Titled Spirit of the Mississippi (Mississippi Water Protector), this work is a symbolic portrait of the fight for Indigenous water rights in the United States. The central figure is a female water protector; from her hands the veins of the Mississippi River flow out and around her. She is depicted as floating within a blue orb, which is representational of planet earth. The Mississippi can be thought of as the central nervous system of North America and its health is inextricably connected to the health and wellbeing of all living beings. This work seeks to engage the community in discussion and reflection on the power of water in our lives and the urgent need to protect this precious resource.
Mariela Ajras (Buenos Aires, 1984) is an internationally-acclaimed muralist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work mainly focuses on the images of women and questions of femininity and collective memory. A psychologist as well as an artist, this background greatly influences her work in terms of subject matter and also in the teaching of community-oriented workshop that uses muralism as a social tool. She is a founding member of AMMURA (Association of Female Muralists of Argentina), a platform that showcases female muralists work and calls out gender inequality in the public art scene in Argentina. Her work can be found in different cities such as Los Angeles, CA, Oakland, Lynn, MA, Salem, MA. Barcelona, Valencia, Tarragona, Salamanca in Spain. Mexico City, Guadalajara, Morelia, Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. Napoli in Italy, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Louvain in Belgium among others.
Golden fibers of a memory of us. Both are hearts longing and resting in an embrace that fades as a distant dead star. Time will conquer it all. Men will hurt each other. We will migrate in the hopes of dignity.
A fine line will divide us and my motherhood with your childhood will be resented. A wall of bricks between me and that of me in you. Borders embroidered in the skin of the land of none. Totems of inequity falling heavily on our heads, on our options.
I wish you always the safe caress of the sun that summer morning when you came and chose me. Broken, my heart takes its last beats in my hand as I watch you be taken away. Sealed and caged along with your innocence. Something is always ruined.
This mural is a commentary on motherhood and migration.