The c/s Initiative is rooted in the idea that we are our cultura. Mainstream society has a history of commodifying culture and appropriating traditions while disregarding the communities they come from. This erases the people who have kept the traditions alive and eventually leads to a situation where we forget we were ever a part of that something.
Our mission is to reclaim our traditions, reintroduce aspects of our cultura that we’ve lost, and to renew connections to our roots. We start by embracing the c/s or Con Safos concept, that iconic Chicanx symbol and idea used on graffiti that on the surface translates to ‘with safety’, and that proclaims both ownership and protection of whatever it is added to.
“It was meant as a safety precaution, a barrio copyright, patent pending. No one else could use or dishonor the graffiti. It was an honorable code of conduct, a literary imprimatur. Like saying “amen,” it ended discussion. Above all, it meant, “anything you say against me will bounce back to you.” From Jose Antonio Burciaga’s Drink Cultura (1979)
This project adds the c/s tag to Dia de los Muertos and will install 10‐13 ofrendas or altars created by POC artists and collectives/groups in independently owned POC businesses in our neighborhoods. These individual installations and businesses will then be highlighted on a project website that encourages people to go out to for a self‐guided tour around the city to visit the different altars. A virtual ofrenda will be included on the website that includes pictures and short written pieces by community members that honor those in the spirit world. We will also include information on DDLM activities and events that are community‐led and organized.
Our goals are to:
- Reclaim Dia de los Muertos as a cultural practice that connects us to our queridos difuntos.
- Create exposure for the participating artists (bios, links to websites, and other information will be listed) by giving them visibility outside of the traditional art world.
- Encourage people to support the local POC owned businesses in the community who create jobs and contribute to the economic health of neighborhoods.
This project is funded by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Cultural Funding Program. For more information contact:
Ofelia Faz‐Garza Cascabel Group 214.325.1421