La Tlanchana

Finding commonality between two places

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La Tlanchana

Finding commonality between two places

Santiago Guzmán

Santiago Guzmán describes the conception of a new creation:

There is a statue of a Mexican mermaid called La Tlanchana in downtown Metepec, Mexico, where I grew up, that always caught my eye. The statue honours the legend of La Tlanchana, a pre-Hispanic Mexican goddess, queen of the nine waters, commonly known for her sensual, vengeful, volatile, and eruptive nature whose lower body adapted depending on what she desired: a snake if she was angry, a fishtail when she wanted to swim and give fishermen a good catch, and human legs if she wanted to find her true love inland.

However, I was never drawn to La Tlanchana with the excitement that Ariel from The Little Mermaid did. Now that I am older and I understand better the complexities of gender stereotypes and the lack of representation, I look at La Tlanchana with tremendous curiosity and respect.

I actively seek to honour and celebrate my Mexicanity by learning about my culture and characters from my home country that spark my artistic curiosity. And I am also passionate about finding common things between these two places that are significant to my identity as an immigrant to Atlantic Canada. So, by writing a play like La Tlanchana (working title), I was able to honour my Mexican heritage, while adapting a legend within my current geographical context.

“I was able to stumble upon another Indigenous figure, now from my new home.”

Although I knew that the province I have decided to call home has a vast history with mermaids, I encountered another mermaid with local Indigenous heritage: Sedna. It was serendipitous that while working on a play that honoured my identity as a Mexican, I was able to stumble upon another Indigenous figure, now from my new home, whose story is not as prevalent as the other white characters. So I had to write about these two mermaids connecting.

La Tlanchana was developed through Ship’s Company Theatre’s 2021 Masstown Shipwright Residency where I resided in Awokm, Mi’kma’ki, for a month, and wrote the first draft of the piece.

Photo

Stefan Thierolf, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

La Tlanchana

La Tlanchana

Finding commonality between two places

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Santiago Guzmán describes the conception of a new creation:

There is a statue of a Mexican mermaid called La Tlanchana in downtown Metepec, Mexico, where I grew up, that always caught my eye. The statue honours the legend of La Tlanchana, a pre-Hispanic Mexican goddess, queen of the nine waters, commonly known for her sensual, vengeful, volatile, and eruptive nature whose lower body adapted depending on what she desired: a snake if she was angry, a fishtail when she wanted to swim and give fishermen a good catch, and human legs if she wanted to find her true love inland.

However, I was never drawn to La Tlanchana with the excitement that Ariel from The Little Mermaid did. Now that I am older and I understand better the complexities of gender stereotypes and the lack of representation, I look at La Tlanchana with tremendous curiosity and respect.

I actively seek to honour and celebrate my Mexicanity by learning about my culture and characters from my home country that spark my artistic curiosity. And I am also passionate about finding common things between these two places that are significant to my identity as an immigrant to Atlantic Canada. So, by writing a play like La Tlanchana (working title), I was able to honour my Mexican heritage, while adapting a legend within my current geographical context.

“I was able to stumble upon another Indigenous figure, now from my new home.”

Although I knew that the province I have decided to call home has a vast history with mermaids, I encountered another mermaid with local Indigenous heritage: Sedna. It was serendipitous that while working on a play that honoured my identity as a Mexican, I was able to stumble upon another Indigenous figure, now from my new home, whose story is not as prevalent as the other white characters. So I had to write about these two mermaids connecting.

La Tlanchana was developed through Ship’s Company Theatre’s 2021 Masstown Shipwright Residency where I resided in Awokm, Mi’kma’ki, for a month, and wrote the first draft of the piece.

Santiago Guzmán

Santiago Guzmán describes the conception of a new creation:

There is a statue of a Mexican mermaid called La Tlanchana in downtown Metepec, Mexico, where I grew up, that always caught my eye. The statue honours the legend of La Tlanchana, a pre-Hispanic Mexican goddess, queen of the nine waters, commonly known for her sensual, vengeful, volatile, and eruptive nature whose lower body adapted depending on what she desired: a snake if she was angry, a fishtail when she wanted to swim and give fishermen a good catch, and human legs if she wanted to find her true love inland.

However, I was never drawn to La Tlanchana with the excitement that Ariel from The Little Mermaid did. Now that I am older and I understand better the complexities of gender stereotypes and the lack of representation, I look at La Tlanchana with tremendous curiosity and respect.

I actively seek to honour and celebrate my Mexicanity by learning about my culture and characters from my home country that spark my artistic curiosity. And I am also passionate about finding common things between these two places that are significant to my identity as an immigrant to Atlantic Canada. So, by writing a play like La Tlanchana (working title), I was able to honour my Mexican heritage, while adapting a legend within my current geographical context.

“I was able to stumble upon another Indigenous figure, now from my new home.”

Although I knew that the province I have decided to call home has a vast history with mermaids, I encountered another mermaid with local Indigenous heritage: Sedna. It was serendipitous that while working on a play that honoured my identity as a Mexican, I was able to stumble upon another Indigenous figure, now from my new home, whose story is not as prevalent as the other white characters. So I had to write about these two mermaids connecting.

La Tlanchana was developed through Ship’s Company Theatre’s 2021 Masstown Shipwright Residency where I resided in Awokm, Mi’kma’ki, for a month, and wrote the first draft of the piece.

Santiago Guzmán

Photo

Stefan Thierolf, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Ancestors
Memory
Courage
Transmission
All
Ancestors
Disruption
Vulnerability
Curiosity
Expansion
Disruption
Care
Vulnerability
Edge
Curiosity
Care
Courage
Curiosity
Opening
Expansion
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Invitation
Meditation
Expansion
Memory
Courage
Curiosity
Kinetic
Expansion
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Invitation
Transmission
All
Disruption
Courage
Opening
Meditation
All
Absence
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Memory
Vulnerability
Care
Vulnerability
Invitation
Corporeal
Meditation
Disruption
Vulnerability
Impulse
Kinetic
Corporeal
Opening
Corporeal
Organic
Transmission
Expansion
Absence
Ancestors
Courage
Organic
All
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Immersion
Corporeal
All
Disruption
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Edge
Transmission
Disruption
Elusiveness
Care
Corporeal
All
Elusiveness
Impulse
Invitation
Immersion
Meditation
Elusiveness
Curiosity
Corporeal
Transmission
All
Disruption
Memory
Impulse
Curiosity
Expansion
Elusiveness
Opening
Organic
Meditation
All
Elusiveness
Ancestors
Memory
Invitation
Transmission
Elusiveness
Immersion
Expansion
All
Absence
Ancestors
Courage
Immersion
All
Disruption
Invitation
Immersion
Organic
Transmission
Care
Vulnerability
Curiosity
Transmission
All
Memory
Impulse
Immersion
Transmission
All
Care
Edge
Corporeal
Expansion
All
Elusiveness
Memory
Care
Courage
Vulnerability
Ancestors
Vulnerability
Corporeal
Transmission
Expansion
Care
Courage
Invitation
Transmission
Ancestors
Courage
Immersion
Corporeal
Organic
Absence
Disruption
Impulse
Edge
Kinetic
Memory
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Meditation
Kinetic
Ancestors
Courage
Disruption
Opening
All
Memory
Care
Corporeal
Meditation
Expansion
Absence
Ancestors
Memory
Edge
Expansion
Ancestors
Opening
Invitation
Curiosity
Expansion
Disruption
Ancestors
Invitation
Curiosity
All
Ancestors
Curiosity
Kinetic
Transmission
Expansion
Absence
Elusiveness
Vulnerability
Edge
Meditation
Ancestors
Care
Curiosity
Meditation
All
Absence
Disruption
Opening
Transmission
All
Disruption
Care
Kinetic
Transmission
All
Memory
Curiosity
Kinetic
Corporeal
Meditation
Care
Vulnerability
Edge
Opening
Corporeal
Absence
Memory
Invitation
Transmission
All
Ancestors
Memory
Care
Courage
Transmission
Absence
Memory
Edge
Curiosity
Immersion
Elusiveness
Impulse
Curiosity
Kinetic
Transmission
Impulse
Opening
Organic
All
Disruption
Care
Opening
Transmission
All
Disruption
Ancestors
Care
Impulse
All
Absence
Memory
Opening
Immersion
Meditation
Disruption
Courage
Impulse
Edge
Organic
Ancestors
Memory
Invitation
Meditation
Expansion
Invitation
Curiosity
Immersion
Corporeal
Organic
Ancestors
Vulnerability
Invitation
Organic
Meditation
Ancestors
Care
Invitation
Organic
Meditation
Corporeal
Kinetic
Meditation
Transmission
All