Tarot of the QTPOC Interview Series: Lucy Pérez Tejeda, illustrator of La Nueva Lotería.
What is La Nueva Lotería?
It's a 45 card deck featuring original artwork that promotes different aspects of self care, mensuration, birth-control methods, equal rights, and a whole bunch of other feminist issues.
By providing both written and visual information, the idea is that this deck will create space for conversation, decentralize access to information, and enable support networks through play. La Nueva Lotería is also intended to be a tool for those parents, teachers and tutors to bring these issues to kids and teens in their circles.
We’re in the first round of design and production, with an end goal of printing 500 copies of the deck and accompanying informational booklet to distribute to vulnerable communities across Tijuana.
In the three months that follow, we plan to visit community centers weekly to host 2 hour gaming sessions, collecting feedback as we go.
How did you come up with the idea?
One of our team members, Cristina Cruz, is a visual artist and she applied to an open call from Mujeres Grabando Resistencia (Women Engraving Resistance); it's a Mexican collective that uses graphic art as a tool in search to build memory and capture the strength of the struggles and protests, as well as those of other women who rebel. They invite other artists to engrave a political graphic and this will be reproduced in a large scale poster so it can be wheat-pasted around the city. Other 18 women from Mexico applied to this open call, which they all reunited in International Meeting of Mujeres Women last year.
Rotmi, one of the members of Mujeres Grabando Resistencia, met with Cristina and the other artists and gave her the 19 posters that applied that year to the open call. These posters can't be sold, given out, or be kept, the only condition to recieve the 19 posters is to gather with your girl gang, prepare some wheat paste and go around the city to place them. When we started thinking about which places in the city to paste them, we had constant doubt... which are the most necessary places to consider when speaking about political messages for other women to see?
Here in our city, Tijuana (Baja California, México) these subjects are commonly spoken of in downtown or in other urban areas with greater access to information.
But what happens with the communities based in the peripheries on the city?
This was the starting point of decentralizing information. We got into Cristina's car, mark a route considering these communities and pasted the posters.
Considering that the high rates of pregnancies girls and teenagers, forced marriages and maternity, gender violence, most of these rates, are concentrated in the peripheries of the city, decentralizing this information is the element key of La Nueva Lotería. It's a game where everyone can participate, but it is mainly focused on taking it for free to the precarious communities in México.
Who are the team members?
Cristina Herrán Cruz, workshop professional and documentarian. Andrea Libertad Alvarado Ponzo, psychologist and workshop professional and Lucy Pérez Tejeda, illustrator of La Nueva Lotería.
What is it based on?
We consider that these issues, gender inequality, violence, forced and early marriage, is a lack of education that the Mexican government supposed to work on and the failure of systems and institutions, this is the reason why the DIY (do it yourself) movement is so important for these types of projects like this game. We decided to work with the people from our own community to make this possible. The DIY ethics promotes the knowledge and experience acquired by the user in various subjects, empowering individuals and communities, fostering employment through alternative approaches when faced with bureaucratic or social obstacles to achieving our objectives.
Of the 3 months that we have considered to make the first tests of the game, with the objective of evaluating the impact of the game on the learning of the people who make up the community, our approach is based on the concept of Popular Education; based in notions of class, political struggle, and social transformation. More specifically 'popular' refers to the 'popular classes', which include peasants, the unemployed, the working class and sometimes the lower middle class. Popular Education promotes:
Criticism and dialectic: Transform people in these communities from a contextual education process. That the these people have the conditions to discover and conquer reflexively, as the subject of their own historical destiny.
Context: The person is always in relation to a social context.
Method: The use of oral resources primarily. It depends on the reference frame that is used. The evaluation is also contextual.
Praxis: Every theory of popular education has to have practical consequences.
How are you funding the project?
We've launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund this project. Indiegogo works with donations and retributions, this means that for every donation that we recieve, we give something back; like a complete set of La Nueva Lotería, a surprise poster, sticker packs or even an original illustration of one of the cards. The donations start from 5 dollars.
If you make a 5 dollar donation, the donor will receive a personalized email thanking them for the help.
For the 10 dollar donation, in our final video, the donor’s name will appear in the donors section, thanking their support.
For the 20 dollar donation, the most popular of our campaign, the donor will be among the first people to receive a set of La Nueva Lotería, with the 45 cards and 5 tables to start playing.
For the 30 dollar donation, the donor will receive all the previous benefits, but in this retribution we will include 10 tables instead of 5 tables. So they can play with larger groups!
For the 40 dollar donation, the donor will receive a surprise poster from one of the cards! Will it be the Menstrual Cup? Or Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz? Perhaps Consent?
For the 50 dollar donation, the donor will receive all the previous retributions plus a 10 sticker set of the game.
And for the 100 dollar donation, the donor will be of of the only to have an original signed illustration of one of the cards, you can choose your favorite, only 30 illustration available.
What difficulties have you had funding the project?
It's been hard! But really interesting, especially because we are the generation that has run out of stable resources for the future (here in Mexico we no longer have a fund for our retirement, it is very difficult to acquire loans without having a debt for life or to acquire a house), but working together and strengthening our communication skills and channels, has made this a very rich experience in knowledge and practice. Because we realize that although we do not have the privileges of past generations, we have ourselves to build this type of project and from this core, make our own resources.
What are the plans in the future for La Nueva Lotería?
After testing the game for 3 months, we’re pretty sure the game is going to go through some changes, there a lot of necessary subjects to talk about. Eventually, we would like to see our card games in schools, youth centers and community spaces across Tijuana and beyond.