Madalena Mora (2018)

Melanie Cervantes
13″ x 19″
Full color giclée print with white border, 100% cotton rag, 260gsm Archival Velvet Fine Art Paper, 2018, Open Edition

My first of two years at UC Berkeley I decided to live in a place called Casa Magdalena Mora. Casa Mora is a Raza (Xicanx/Latinx) themed program named after a former student named Magdalena Mora. Every year Maggie’s brother visits the student residents of Casa Magdalena Mora and talks about Maggie and the impact she had on the people around her. It was in my residence there that I started my art practice in 2004. For many years I have wanted to draw a portrait of Maggie and the Puro Corazón exhibit was the perfect opportunity to pay hommage to this fierce Chicana.

“No organizer was more beloved than Magdalena Mora. Born in Michoacán, Mexico, she settled with her family in California, working in a cannery and on the Farah Strike, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. She became a leading member of the Center for Autonomous Social Action-Brotherhood of Workers (CASA), wrote for its newspaper, directed the victorious Tolteca food strike, and supported women’s struggles. At 29, she died of cancer, still fighting for humanity.” (From 500 Years of Chicana Women’s History” by Betita Martinez