Melanie Cervantes is a Xicanx artist and activist based in Oakland, Bay Area. She is a member of the Justseeds Collective, Taller Tupac Amaru, and the Consejo Gráfico. She co-founded Dignidad Rebelde with printmaker Jesus Barraza, a collaborative graphic arts project that uses principles of Xicanisma and Zapatismo to translate stories of struggle and resistance into artwork that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.
Indigenous Women Defending Land, wheatpaste by Melanie Cervantes, Unceded Voices 2015
“As individuals, as organizations, as communities or as a people, Indigenous women continually prove their strength in the face of threat and adversity. Our responses show that we are not passive victims of oppression but fierce actors in the indigenous peoples’ struggles for survival. We have formed organizations and networks. They have initiated community-based projects to respond to basic needs of our people. We have been in the forefront of numerous actions of indigenous peoples to defend our land, our lives and our livelihood. We mixed in a piece by Lianne Charlie and Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde which reads Tiotia:ke, the Mohawk name for “Montreal” which means where the currents meet. I am also repping Jesus Barraza’s Tierra Indigena in this wheatpaste mural. “