“Pájaro Falling” is a site specific performance about my failure within Cubanidad, and the conditions of hyper-visibility within queer and trans cultural production. I carried a pool of blood and white hydrangeas in a transparent tarp through two wooden arches, and across the garden. Pausing in front of the greenhouse, I applied the blood all over my head and exposed chest, and hung the tarp between two wooden beams inside the greenhouse. Disidentifying with the Cuban militant, inspired by the guerrilla style of Vaginal Davis’s ground-level cultural terrorism and Jose Esteban-Muñoz’s theory of disidentification, I began to move through various military formations, walks, and exercises behind the tarp and glass. Using the transparency and opacity of the tarp and greenhouse, I strategized modes of survival and servitude in a cultural sphere that is structured to erase queer and trans bodies.
This performance was a response to my entanglements with contact, conflict, violence, and intimacy, and how I fail and fall within Cubanidad for being both non-binary and Cuban. Considering the relationship between visibility and affect, and abjection, I am questioning what it means to be a citizen and how (imaginary) borders are constructed. What bodies have the right to camouflage and concealment, while others exist within the conditions of hyper-visibility? Deconstructing mechanisms of power and dominance, I begin to vogue and push through the tarp as I look for an exit. Recognizing and confronting the vulnerability of trans life, I am transforming sites of marginality, violence, and oppression into resistance and resilience. I negotiate disparate forms of liminality, as they intersect borders, translations, and migrations (of language, concepts, and identities). Acknowledging and responding to the power of death, I am validating, illuminating, and igniting trans possibility within Cubanidad.