Terra incognita was the Latin term used in the representation of maps to denominate territories not yet explored, lands unknown by the Western colonialist white man.

 

The memory of my feminine ancestry is conditioned. The information transferred only from a particular perspective inherited from the patriarchy, drags voids, gaps, ignored lands. A great part of my [our] history is archived under that denomination, that of terra incognita.

 

Family anecdotes, photographs, are transmitted from a masculinized perspective. This has lead me to seek ways to represent how I perceive that unknown territory, distorted within my family. How do I approach the tracing of those remote regions of femininity? Which imaginary lands do my female relatives constitute? 

 

Cartography of a genealogical memory arises from the appropriation of what is established, and it is through cardboard, threads, hand embroidery, hand-dyed printed fabrics and ink drawings that my relative's bodies are defined. Some women hide, other ones appear. It is important for me to represent them as maps to trace the relationships between them. Some of them assumed masculine roles while others were confined to feminine stereotypes. The dominance of some is shown in the repetition of their photo and in the fabric color. The un/chosen isolation of other ones is represented in the territorial composition. 

The women of my past, not only make themselves known on their own hypothetical islands and continents, but they also appropriate of existing political and geographical maps. It is only from another angle, through the rotation of the territory, that women become present.

 

Leyendas genealógicas shows/hides diverse stories about my female relatives. These anecdotes were collected through interviews done with women from my family. As a map legend, some of these stories are linked to the imaginary cartographies of my bloodline. This installation closes the project.

 

Observing the history of my feminine genealogy and the maps that shape it, some questions remain: what part of the history of Peruvian women do they represent? Who is remembered? Whose stories can still be defined as terra incognita?