I know the history of the Chicano/a movement. I have watched films, read books, listened to lectures, analyzed and theorized. I know what happened when Chicanas created a space of their own, outside of being classified under the Chicano umbrella. I know how women were told the concentration should be on the plight of Chicanos, and how separating themselves from the men would be like separating the movement. Bullshit. As if the women didn't deserve a space on their own, a space to discuss female issues. Nah-they should just go back to stirring the beans for all of the meetings.
The Chicana/o movement, to me, is still a young one. Maybe this is why when I do a search for "ChicanA Photographers" google spits back at me "Did you mean: chicano photographers" NO, NO, NO. I'm sure google has no idea what a faux pas it has just created.
I define myself as a Chicana, I think I deserve the title. While I haven't given much thought as to how, or even if I label myself an artist, it requires some thought. It took me a very long time to consider myself a photographer, and it was only when people around me referred to me as such, that I became comfortable with it.
To some extent labels and titles tend to contain and pigeon hole. It is a mistake to think that referring to yourself as Chicana/o would fit into that observation. Because if its not the sort of title you would take pride in referring to yourself as, than you don't deserve it.
I would wear the title of "Chicana Photographer" like a bright screaming grito on my sleeve. I desire to observe the work of females like myself. I want to be around and embedded within a group of women with creative photographic minds. Maybe I haven't been looking hard enough.
Mari Hernandez, Chicana Photographer.