Featured Artwork: Pajón Comic

Art work by Crystal Rodriguez
Crystal Rodriguez is a Dominicana who identifies as an Afrocaribbean Activist Artist, or as Gloria Anzaldúa describes “a shadow beast”. La Galería Magazine is excited to feature her art work series titled “Pajón Comic”. Learn more about “Pajón Comic” and the inspiration behind these from Crystal Rodriguez herself below. You can follow her on IG at @dominicanbrujaprincess 

 

Written by: Crystal Rodriguez

 

I created the Pajón Comic to highlight unique moments in a Dominican or Afrolatinxlife. Dominican families like other Afrolatinx families look/are completely different from one another…for example, siblings express different recessive or dominant traits and cousins can look racially distinctive from one another as well. Navigating within a family and culture that is completely mixed can be beautiful, confusing and difficult because of all these intersecting identities. Dealing with privilege becomes especially sensitive and important. Knowing what to say at the right moment can protect someone from being hurt or from having their identity oppressed. I hope this comic can help us better understand our intersecting identities, harmful cultural conditioning and how to recognize opportunities to honor our differences whether it is our racial, gender, or sexual identities. I especially made this comic for my possible future children, and nieces and nephews to read together.

 

Pajón Comic by Crystal Rodriguez

Pajón Comic by Crystal Rodriguez

Pajón Comic by Crystal Rodriguez

 

Why I chose the word “Pajon”

 

Pajón is usually an Afrolatinxs’ hair in its natural state. Pajón is what your grandma calls your hair in the morning because curls have escaped the tight braid she made for you last night. Pajón is “squiggly’ hair that sticks up and out instead of falling down. Pajón also has symbolic meaning for the Afrolatinxs who hear it. Pajón means everything “bad” about you growing up, everything you wished would turn white or blonde in the morning or after a bath…that is Pajón. Pajón when we hear it, is a shot gun loaded with self loathing straight at our self esteem. I am all about reclaiming the Pajón.

 

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