Events

Remembering Las Mariposas, the Sisters Who Resisted a Violent Dictatorship

The sisters formed a political group, the Movement of the Fourteenth of June, in opposition to the violent dictatorship of the Dominican Republic. They were assassinated in 1960.

Iris Boncales-Strauss, “Roots and Borders” (2018), acrylic and metal beads on wood (image courtesy AF3IRM)

On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal sisters — Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa — were assassinated by agents of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic. Calling themselves “Las Mariposas,” the sisters had formed a political group, the Movement of the Fourteenth of June, in opposition to Trujillo’s brutal regime. Their deaths mobilized the anti-Trujillo resistance, leading to his assassination the following year. In 1999, the UN designated November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor.

This year, the transnational feminist group AF3IRM will be commemorating the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign with an exhibition and series of programs built around the legacy of Las Mariposas. Thursday night’s opening reception will feature Irka Mateo, a Taino elder from the Dominican Republic speaking about intergenerational trauma. Friday night will explore alternative economies with a group of female vendors and merchants. “The Language of Resistance” is the theme for Saturday night, with a program of poetry and spoken word dealing with state violence against women. The closing event on Sunday afternoon will be a workshop with women of color art collective Ni Santas focused on looking “Forward to a Feminist Future.”

When: Opens, Thursday, November 29, 6:30–9pm
Where: Self Help Graphics & Art (1300 East 1st Street, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles)

More info at AF3IRM.

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