Aimee Villarreal

A still from the documentary film, Los MENtirosos: Puro San Anto Pride!

I was trained in cultural anthropology at the University of California at Santa Cruz (2014) with a specialization in Mexican American culture and history. As a Chicana with roots in New Mexico and Texas, I descend from farmworkers, faith healers, educators, and community workers whose collective spirit I bring to my teaching, scholarship, and creative projects. I am committed to homeplace ethnography and applied projects in partnership with local stakeholders. My interdisciplinary research explores social movements and other acts of rebeldía for social justice, equity, and sustainable futures in the US-Mexico borderlands. I am also interested in ethnographic filmmaking. I produced and served as lead researcher for an award-winning documentary animation about the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Currently, I am working on a documentary film in collaboration with Los MENtirosos; a Chicanx drag king performance group based in San Antonio that describes their LGTBQ activism and community work as “dragavism.” I also perform as Susio Igesias as part of the group, which demonstrates my commitment to the project as an ethnographer and documentary filmmaker. I also come to this project as a mother of a trans teen. There are powerful people in the Texas legislature who are playing politics with trans lives and undermining their human and civil rights. Highlighting the Los MENtirosos will showcase the artistry of drag within Chicanx cultures as a site of queer community making and resistance.

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