Dystopia Diaspora

Antena Aire

Translation: troubled transparency, clarity of imposture. Not likeness. The same and not the same. A rose is a rose. Is not.

—Rosmarie Waldrop

Texts can be borders and can challenge borders.

Texts can cluster, conglomerate, crowd and jostle against the perils and possibilities of cultural and linguistic exchange.

Texts are wonderfully ineffective walls—always porous, always opaquely transparent, always mobile—and can instigate thinking that destabilizes the militarized lines between countries, and between myriad other borders within and between bodies, languages, places.

Texts can move between languages, transitioning and transmogrifying into new and beautifully different entities, re-iterations and failures to re-iterate.

Texts can take up residence in the interzone, between one side and the other; translation can challenge the very idea of sides.


Years ago, we were invited to edit a selection of border writings for an anthology of documentary poetics which in the end never materialized. The work we created for it, however, absolutely materialized, and remains poignantly and pointedly relevant today. It will be included in Antena Aire’s book en el entre, forthcoming later this year from The Operating System. Meanwhile, we share a couple of works from Dystopia Diaspora here, by Mexican writer and artist Amaranta Caballero Prado and Guatemalan writer Julio Serrano.

* poemas e imágenes de Cien gorriones muertos: excess, excess, excess poems and images from One Hundred Dead Sparrows: exceso, exceso, exceso. Amaranta Caballero Prado

dystopiadiaspora 96

No. 96

WORK Time, space, as health and accumulation. Inventions and innovations: the strike. * EL TRABAJO Tiempo, espacio, como la salud y la acumulación. Las invenciones y las innovaciones, son la huelga.


No. 98

CLASS WAR To open so as to consolidate. Making everything into a dream promises allies and laborers alike mass arbitrary layoffs. The goal is to demoralize. * GUERRA DE CLASES Abrir para consolidar. Convertir todo en sueño, promete a sus aliados y a sus peones, despidos masivos y arbitrarios. El objetivo es desmoralizar.


No. 99

VIOLENCE AFTER VIOLENCE** This is the last report, matters of excessive spending. I won this war indeed! * VIOLENCIA TRAS VIOLENCIA Es su último informe, asuntos de gastos excesivos. ¡Esta guerra sí la gané! from Central América Julio Serrano We believed we were and wanted to be North Americans and along the way we encountered our Central American destiny José Emilio Pacheco My story begins in Mexico City and in Havana, Cuba. Life running through life, things we call underworld, all that is around these days. Do you remember that Mexico was called A country of chastised demons? It’s said that the story of God was turned inside out, we do not die, we are reborn. Do you remember that story? I am the famous Niño Diablo. They call me that because I’ve only survived thanks to my father. I've grown to understand my family, they wanted me to have an ordinary life, for me not to go through what they have gone through, for me to be a normal human being, but some people found out about my system around 10, 11 years ago. I was in a military barracks, they sent me there to teach the Andromeda system, the Andromeda system of the children I birth, who turn into demons, they grow up like adolescents like teenagers and turn into children. Every so often my body changes, I am a chameleon, I turn into a man and a woman. Through witchcraft they amputate my fingers, they amputate my sides, if you look at my face, they’ve been implanting thousands of people’s parts, they used a system of witchcraft to begin to hide me. I have a special power, I touch money and I double it. When I was in Guadalajara my mother gave me everything I wanted, I grew up with freebase cocaine as medicine I was murdered at the age of two in Guadalajara. With my system I can speak any kind of language, I’m qualified. At the age of 22, I was told I’d have to flee Mexicali, they brought me here when I was 3, kidnapped, they brought me through Navojoa, through Navolato, through Sinaloa, through Culiacán; the kidnappers were all ex agents of the Federal Police, Government Officials.

**This piece contains extracts from an audio interview conducted with a young Mexican man at the Migrant Hotel in Mexicali in August, 2011, just a short while after he had been deported.

Esta obra está integrada por extractos de una entrevista realizada en el Hotel Migrante en Mexicali en agosto de 2011, a un joven mexicano que recién acababan de deportar.

Creímos y quisimos ser norteamericanos y nos salió al paso nuestro destino centroamericano José Emilio Pacheco Mi historia empieza en la Ciudad de México y en la Habana, Cuba. Vida a través de vida, cosas que nosotros llamamos inframundo, todo eso existe hoy en día. ¿Recuerdas que México se llamaba Un país de demonios castigados? Se dice que la historia de Dios se invirtió, no morimos, renacemos. ¿Te acuerdas de esa historia? Yo soy el famoso Niño Diablo. me dicen así porque por mi padre he sobrevivido. He ido entendiendo a mi familia, ellos querían que tuviera una vida ordinaria, que no pasara lo mismo que han pasado, que fuera un ser humano normal, pero unas personas supieron de mi sistema hace 10 años, 11 años. Estuve en un cuartel militar, me mandaron a enseñar al sistema Andrómeda, el sistema Andrómeda de los niños que nacen de mí, que se hacen demonios, crecen como jóvenes como muchachos y se hacen niños. Cada cierto tiempo mi cuerpo cambia, yo soy un camaleón, me hago hombre y mujer. Por medio de brujería me amputan dedos, me amputan lados, si miras mi cara me fueron implantando miles de partes de personas, usaron un sistema de brujería para comenzar a esconderme. Yo tengo un poder especial, yo toco los billetes y hago doble. Cuando estaba en Guadalajara mi madre me daba todo lo que yo deseaba, crecí por medio de medicina cocaína base, yo fui asesinado a la edad de dos años en Guadalajara. Con mi sistema puedo hablar cualquier tipo de idioma, yo soy preparado. A la edad de 22 años me dijeron que yo tenía que huir de Mexicali, aquí me trajeron a los 3 años, secuestrado, me trajeron por Navojoa, por Navolato, por Sinaloa, por Culiacán; los secuestradores eran puros ex agentes de la Federal, Ministeriales. *

Dystopia is the ground on which we walk, the air into which we speak. The ongoing conditions of colonialism are the scaffolding, underbelly and dissonant accompaniment to the economic brutality and violence that create the context for the tremendous obligatory migration of people within the territory rarely thought of in the largest sense as “America.” And these conditions, these contexts, have as much to do with diaspora as direct questions of immigration, adaptation, displacement, and cultural integrity. Dystopia diaspora.

Image(s) credit: Amaranta Caballero Prado

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