A Fan of Michael Jackson

Chair for: Benjamin Ascencio Bautista

Designed and created by TucsonSURJ
Tucson, AZ

I was very excited to hear about this project.It felt important to me to not let the 43 boys disappearance go unacknowledged and forgotten about. At first I was stymied because I couldn't find much information about Benjamin(Benja or Mingo to his family) Then on the next to the last day when the project was due I found an article about his mother,Cristina Bautista Salvador that moved me to tears. I was inspired and worked really hard and fast instead of being perplexed and stilted.I then completed that part of the project. Also, the Teatro Digna Theater was brought to my attention.Putting together art and politics just makes sense to me.I hope I have contributed to this project and that I did well by his family and Benjamin. Benjamin cared about his family and community and wanted to bring back his knowledge to his community.He wasn't eager to leave his community but wanted to work and teach and give back.I felt a lot of respect for this young man.

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The Artist
The Student
El Estudiante
The Location
Location Images

About this Artist

Lena Rothman

Tucson, AZ
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Lena is an emerging artist.She uses acrylics,mixed media and clay. Lena has also been a Chinese Medicine Healer and Acupuncturist for the past 30 years.Currently she is teaching in communities a Rapid Response in health crises called Emergency Acupressure Techniques that can save lives including your own.Some focus is on stopping an Asthma attack midstream and also preventing one from happening,reviving someone from loss of consciousness as well as preventing it,preventing and stopping an anxiety attacks as well as preventing seizures.Lena has also been a political/social activist since 1979.

Biography [English]

Benjamin Ascencio Bautista

Fan of Michael Jackson By Vania Pigeonutt Illustration by Olga Fabila Benjamín Ascencio Bautista was successful in avoiding being one more in the town statistics of young people migrating to the US. He refused to adopt pochas fashions, to speak bad English. He knew it was dangerous to cross the border without documents; however, he also knew that at the age of 16, 17 or 18 his most likely option was to leave Alpoyecancingo, the land of the 57 communities that make up Ahuacoutzingo; the land where he grew up surrounded by mountains. Mingo said he will not do that, he wanted to be a teacher and if for some reason, he had to travel to another country, he will do it with documents and paying his own way. Visiting another country was of no interest to him; he wanted to learn about his country, he wanted to educate himself, to better himself; he wanted to understand the world of Chilapa, an area just an hour away from his home and beyond. This stubborn child -his mother Cristina Ascencio-, was born a sunny day on April 9, 1995; always refused to emigrate to the US because it was such a hard trip, nevertheless, to reach his dreams, he decided to register in August 2014 to the Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa, where he went through tough time, even physical violence Laura Ascencio, resembling his brother Benjamín, tell us that they are more relaxed now even thou have not seen him for more than 9 months already. The family talks about “Benja” a lot, because that way they feel liberated, remember him and that give them assurance that he will be back. In the house there are several posters of the 43 disappeared of Ayotzinapa, a large sign Vivos se los llevaron!, Vivos los queremos!. In the room, we see the grandfather, Juan Bautista -the name of the patron saint of the town, his grandmother Carmela, his younger sister Mayra; Laura his older sister and mother figure for him. Laura is arguing with her two daughters, talk with her husband and simultaneously hold with love a photo of Mingo. From the early age, "Benja", was proud and very sure of himself; perhaps because of the large separation from his father, who abandoned them when Benja was 4 years old and when to Bridgeport, Connecticut. He always declared, he will not be like his father, Miguel, he will have a family, will be a teacher and will contribute to his community, to his country. The days without Benjamín have been very hard on the family; difficult, his memory hurts continuously. His sisters and grandfather as a way to cope have turned to a card-readings. Tarot card readings have told them that Benja will be back soon; that is their consolation. The family sow Benja dancing his preferred song, Thriller, a hit by Michael Jackson, Benja knew about it, through the gabacha influence in the community. Text belongs to: campaña Marchando con letras (translated by Juan C Gallardo)

Biografía [Español]

Benjamin Ascencio Bautista

El fan de Michael Jackson Por Vania Pigeonutt Ilustración de Olga Fabila Benjamín Ascencio Bautista logró escaparse de la estadística alta de migración de jóvenes de su pueblo. Se negó a adquirir costumbres pochas, a hablar mal inglés. Le parecía peligroso cruzar a otro país sin documentos; pero cumplir 16, 17 o 18 años e irse de Alpoyecancingo, una de las 57 comunidades que tiene Ahuacoutzingo, el municipio en el que creció rodeado de montañas, era su opción próxima. “Mingo” dijo que no, que él quería ser maestro y si tenía que viajar al extranjero lo haría por la derecha y con sus ahorros. Conocer otro país no era su interés, le preocupaba aprender de éste, saber más cosas, superarse; entender el mundo del que no conocía más allá de Chilapa, un municipio a sólo una hora del suyo. El niño testarudo que nació un día soleado del vientre de su mamá, Cristina Ascencio, un 9 de abril de 1995, rechazó siempre irse a Estados Unidos, por las adversidades que podía pasar en el camino, pero decidió alcanzar su sueño y entrar en agosto de 2014 a la Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa, donde pasó muchas pruebas físicas; incluso, que le provocaron golpes en el rostro, lesiones en los huesos. Laura Ascencio, quien lleva el arco de las cejas, como su hermano Benjamín, cuenta que están más “tranquilos” pese a que han pasado nueve meses sin verlo. La familia decide platicar sobre “Benja”, porque así se sienten liberados, lo evocan y están seguros de que regresará. En la casa hay afiches de los 43 desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa, una playera con la leyenda: ¡Vivos se los llevaron!, ¡Vivos los queremos! En la estancia está el abuelo de Benja, Juan Bautista —cuyo nombre coincide con el del santo patrono del pueblo—, su abuela Carmela; su hermana menor Mayra; Laura, su hermana mayor y figura materna, quien batalla esa tarde con sus dos hijas y platica con su esposo, también presente, al mismo tiempo que muestra con ternura fotos de Mingo. Desde niño, “Benja” se hizo orgulloso, necio, aferrado a sus ideas, quizás por la distancia rotunda que tiene con su papá, quien lo abandonó a él y a sus hermanas cuando tenía cuatro años por irse a Bridgeport, Connecticut. Siempre decía que él nunca sería como su papá, Miguel, que él tendría una familia y como maestro aportaría algo a su comunidad, a su país. Los días sin Benjamín para su familia han sido aciagos; difíciles, su recuerdo es un taladro diario al corazón. Sus hermanas y su abuelo han acudido a que les lean las cartas. En todo momento la cartomancia les ha indicado que él volverá, por eso se calman. Dicen que el recuerdo de Benja es tal, que se le ve bailando su canción preferida, Thriller, éxito de Michel Jackson, que el normalista se sabía por la influencia gabacha en su comunidad.

The Chair's Location

Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea
1730 E. Speedway Bkvd
Tucson AZ US

Location Images

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