Ixchel is a co-founder of the socially engaged art collective, Las Imaginistas, and is the Cosmic Weaver for the immigrant rights network, Voces Unidas. Both organizations advance the earth’s desire to remember and recognize freedom of movement for all beings.
2023 Culture & Narrative Fellows Our Fellows
Ixchel Tonāntzin Xōchitlzihuatl
Ixchel Tonāntzin Xōchitlzihuatl is a prayer woman, culture shaper and peace strategist. She devotes her life force to the liberation of all beings across time, space and vibrational frequencies. She supports healers, leaders and communities to reprogram all that is (thoughts, words and action) in alignment with cosmic truth. Ixchel is a co-founder of the socially engaged art collective, Las Imaginistas (United States Artists, ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Grantees, Blade of Grass Fellows). She is also the Cosmic Weaver for the immigrant rights network, Voces Unidas. Both organizations advance the earth’s desire to remember and recognize freedom of movement for all beings. Ixchel is mixed race and mixed indigenous (from Huastec territory). Her Western European ancestors are Celt and descendent from French, Scottish and German colonizers. She holds a MFA from Columbia University (NY) and an EdM from Harvard (MA).
Medium: socially engaged art and re-indigenization of cultural cosmologies
Location: Brownsville, TX
Ixchel on Their Project
“Borders Like Water” (BLW). It is a multimedia digital and site-specific campaign to re-indigenize narratives on migration and sovereignty. The project was developed and incubated in 2020 through support from the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Catalyst for Change Racial Justice award and the race Forward Immigrant Butterfly Lab initiative. This 2023 phase of the campaign shares these narratives with a larger US audience via Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
The work of “Borders Like Water” is to support all people in returning to the traditions of their earth-based ancestors. BLW looks to our common interests: safety on the planet earth. When we come together around this common interest and through common practices (ancestral earth based wisdoms) we are able to be more effective in healing the harms and impacts that have stemmed from colonization, white supremacy and slavery. We center indigenous based wisdoms because people indigenous to this continent have been the cultural stewards of knowledge most relevant to this land. Still, earth based wisdoms of all regions are relevant to intercultural healing and peaceful coexistence.
As a result, BLW also encourages people of European ancestry to reclaim their earth-based traditions as part of collective racial healing. By recultivating the ancestral earth– based traditions of all beings, we will increase our collective capacity to remember, grieve, and heal the traumas committed against one another and the earth. The project is a campaign for truth both within the bodies and beings of those who live now and within the cellular memory of the earth. Through videos, blogs, workshops, social media posts and live stream events we will create social spaces where people can remember how to listen to themselves, one another, and the earth. It is through this process of listening that we will create relationships that have the depth and capacity to heal the grief created through slavery, genocide and colonization.