Gizelxanath RodriguezPittsburgh, PA
Gizelxanath is a singer, cellist, urban farmer and activist at the intersection of Indigenous rights, ecosocialism and migrant justice. Rordiguez is an award-winning soprano; she won the Latin ACE award in 2014 in New York City.
More recently, Gizelxanath’s focus has been as a political activist in international social movements related to Indigenous rights and ecological justice / ecosocialism. She was a delegate to the First Ecosocialist International, a historic gathering of over 100 activists from 5 continents in the Maroon afro-descendent community of Veroes, Venezuela. She has worked with Zapatista organizations based in Chiapas for several years, helping organize the East Coast Chiapas Solidarity Committee and providing musical performances and lessons to Zapatista Indigenous youth. She also works with community farmers in Pittsburgh to build food sovereignty with oppressed communities. She was invited for her work as a community farmer, bandleader, and revolutionary artist to present at the Peace and Justice Studies Association conference at Arcadia University. In October of 2018, she introduced a new work, Migrant Liberation Movement Suite.
Dedicated to the intersection of climate change and forced migration, The Migrant Liberation Movement Suite included libretto in Yoeme, the Yaqui language, of which Gizel was a facilitator and researcher. She has also performed at the Skirball Center at NYU, the Kennedy Center, and universities and colleges across the country.
Written in dialouge with Reyna Lourdes Angaumea, the libretto of this piece is perhaps the first time that Yoeme and aria form have been integrated. I am singing in Yoeme, the Yaqui langauge, about the point of view of the sacred Kautesami butterfly which is nearly extinct. This piece decolonizes the genre of opera and new music by pushing forward an indigenous-centric and indigenous collaborative aesthetic.
There is a “call and response” that exists between revolutionary art and meaningful political outcomes.