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Testimonios Essay

984 words - 4 pages

History has always been written and told from the perspective of men. There is little evidence of oral or written history told by women. Even the term “his-tory” exemplifies that it is his story which is being told by his perspective. What happens when women start writing and telling their stories? It no longer becomes “his-tory”, but “her-story” where she tells her life experiences through her perspective. Women have started to use different forms and methods of written and oral techniques to let their stories be heard. Eulalia Perez and Teresa De La Guerra are two examples of women who have created their human agency and political stance by letting their voices be heard. I will discuss ...view middle of the document...

Testimonios also provide a way of reclaiming human agency. Having the chance to express and tell ones story is an act of human agency. The Latina Feminist Group states “Testimonio has been critical in movements for liberation in Latin America, offering an artistic form and methodology to create politicized understandings of identity and community” (3). The quote claims that testimonios can be dangerous because one is creating agency by expressing political understandings of one’s identity. Stepping out of the roles that women are supposed to abide by is creating empowerment and human agency. Testimonios provide women with the chance to step out of their assigned roles and let their stories be heard. Telling one’s testimonio provides human agency, since they can add or remove certain parts making it their story and no one else’s.
Perez and De La Guerra, both express human and political agency by telling their lived experiences through their testimonios. In Perez’s testimonio, she uses the “I” statement where she obtains personal identity by telling her life experiences in first person, giving herself power over other testimonios. Even though, Perez’s testimonio is written for her, the first person statements give Perez authority and validation that these events actually did happen. For example, “I, Eulalia Perez, was born at the presidio of Loreto, in Baja California” (Perez, 99), this statement confirms Perez’s presence and authority in her story. The “I” statements provide Perez with individual identity because she is telling her story and no one else’s. At the same time that she is expressing individual identity, she is also expressing political agency because her testimonio disrupts the dominate narrative of history and the testimonios of men. For instance, when she recalls, “After living in San Diego for eight years, we went to Mission San Gabriel…” (Perez, 100). The quote illustrates that...

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