Justice occupies space, mentally and physically and is the result of multiple, constantly evolving struggles for balance in Xicanx communities. It is not a one-dimensional conceptual theory of law, but, rather, it is visible, tangible, and experiential movement. To me justice resides is my grandmother’s hands. The seeds that were given to us by our ancestors, who developed a relationship with them over time, allows us to put those seeds in the ground and watch them grow. However, the muddy handprints on the walls of the abandoned adobe in the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant in New Mexico clearly communicate presence, existence, and a connection to the earth, but also tell the story of a betrayal. The muddy hands of the land grant heirs make the betrayal of the US government’s promise under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo visible. The symbol of the hand communicates something entirely different when it is severed from its spiritual and physical connection to home. It is because of the stories our grandparents have imprinted in the Xicanx landscape, that we want to know more about how spaces are claimed for the seeds that they gave us to grow. Human beings have left evidence of their existence in the form of muddy handprints all over the world. It is a signature that suggests power in presence. My research advocates for community defined justice and I make photographs from that perspective. I choose to focus on projects that make human connections to place visible.
deMaria, Jaelyn. "Abuelita's Hands = Justice." Chamisa: A Journal of Literary, Performance, and Visual Arts of the Greater Southwest 1, 1 (2021). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/chamisa/vol1/iss1/24