Trajinera Xochitl, 2011. Scale model, wood with paint
Courtesy of the artist, New York, NY
The Trajinera is an emblematic Mexican boat that has existed for centuries. Today, it is still popular in Xochimilco, a rural part of southern Mexico City, best known for its canals and chinampas: remnants of what was an extensive lake and canal system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico since Tenochtitlán (circa CE 1325-1521). A vestige of the region’s pre-Hispanic past and often referred to as "floating gardens," chinampas are used as a method of ancient Mesoamerican agriculture that is still productive today.
Starting with a boat building workshop, and through various seminars and discussions out on the boat, Xochitl will serve not only as a place of cultural exchange, but as a tool and platform for the discussion of different issues ranging from urban agriculture to Mexican immigration in New York. Xochitl aims to bring people together to begin asking questions of inclusion and exclusion as seen through heritage, culture and community, and to help ask larger questions of history, knowledge and perception.