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First drafted shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, this chapter explores key elements in Anzaldúa’s onto-epistemology (“desconocimientos,” “the path of conocimiento”); aesthetics (“the Coyolxauhqui imperative”); and ethics (“spiritual activism”). Interweaving personal and collective issues, Anzaldúa uses these concepts to bridge the historical moment with recurring political-aesthetic issues, like U.S. colonialism, nationalism, complicity, cultural trauma, racism, sexism, and other systemic oppressions. She calls for expanded awareness (“conocimiento”) and develops an ethics of interconnectivity, which she describes as the act of reaching through the wounds—wounds which can be physical, psychic, cultural, and/or spiritual–to connect with others. In its intentionally non-oppositional approach, this chapter offers a provocative alternative to some of Anzaldúa’s other work. Anzaldúa invites readers to move through and beyond trauma and rage, transforming it into social-justice work.

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