Como la Flor: The Cultivation of Chicano Art and Culture in El Paso, Texas.
Immigrants and their descendants have faced issues of racism, prejudice, exclusion and restrictions socially, economically, and physically. These issues and their effects on communities, specifically Mexican-Americans, have frequently been the subjects depicted in murals: they illustrate myths and folklore, moments in history, daily lives, and everyday people. This topic of the cultural versus ethnic identity of Chicanos, will be explored through contemporary murals in the borderland city of El Paso, Texas — a landmark in Mexican-American history. Examining these murals through sociological and psychological lenses, I explore how intermarriage, mixed ancestry, education, visual culture, and migrations within the United States, has shaped Mexican immigrants and their descendant’s overall ethnic identity. I also discuss the importance of representation of
the Chicano community in the arts, for the purpose of not only reflecting a culture, but memorializing the past, and creating a dialogue for the future.