Linda Garcia Merchant
"No Es Fácil 2020: Navigating the split seams, cracks and crevasses of a Chicana Feminist Movement"
Short form mixed media experiemental narrative film
Run time: 15:30
Courtesy the artist.
As an independent scholar working on a national oral history project, not many people knew about me or my work. So I made a film to complement the prose piece I was writing about my life. It ends with a list of descriptors compiled to produce an identity with one constant, my name.
I come from a long line of storytellers, my mother and grandmother recounting the family’s Mexican diaspora through passionate renditions of people falling in love, being born, and dying. I thought I didn’t have their gift to captivate a gathering—I discovered it through visual media. I was a photographer at 12, so when I began making films many years later I felt comfortable sharing my version of these non-linear narratives publicly.
My family of origin has always been supportive of the parts of my life I made visible. Coming out was not one of the parts I ever gave them access to. My generation existed with few safe spaces and all of them were homogenous—any community I chose to be in was siloed from the others. Choosing to be with my family of origin often has the same challenges as with my built family. The last image of the work is a performance that answers the question, “What does it all mean?” What it means is who and how we love is how we become ourselves.