Lourdez Velasco

Tribe: CHamoru
Based In: Seattle, WA
Email: slvelasco@gmail.com
Social Media: @tendervirgo

About the Art
You are the multiplicity of universes, unfolding, unfolding, unfolding.

The Middle of the Universe: The Nonbinary Sibling of Fo’na yan Puntan is a queer creation story, an ancestral love letter honoring past, present, and future trans/nonbinary Pasifika siblings. It complicates the traditional CHamoru creation story of Fo’na yan Puntan—the gods of creation, a sister and brother who gave up their bodies to create the universe and humanity. Lourdez deliberately queers the story by converging the symbolism of these two siblings to birth a nonbinary being emerging from the universe’s center. This film honors the Kanaka Maoli (Hawai'ian) gender identity Māhū, which means ‘in the middle.’ The silhouette represents the transcendence of gender, fluid as ancestral waters, bursting like the birth of stars. The lålai (chant) I Kulo' Mañaina, sung in the Indigenous Fino' Håya language, is a chant traditionally sung by a techa' (prayer leader). It calls on the ancestors to beckon their blessings. The three voices symbolize Fo’na, Puntan, and the cosmic nonbinary sibling.

Migai Ma’ase - heaps of gratitude to:
Sonic sound support: Suyoung Yun and Dåkot-ta Alcantara-camacho
Chant/ Lålai: I FANLALAI'AN CHANT GROUP taught to me by Dåkot-ta
Filming /Visual creative direction: Roldy Ablao Aguero
Film editing: Lourdez Velasco
Emotional & ideation support: the ancestors, Desiree, Emnet, Robert, Roldy, Dåkot-ta, Suyoung, my child Elijah and all my loved ones.

Blow the shell horn of the elders
the shell horn of the elders
Call them because the people are waiting
call our people
Our rope is very strong
strong is our rope
Call the shell horn, our shell horn
the shell horn, our shell horn
Blow the shell horn of the elders
the shell horn of the elders

Guaifi i Kulo' Mañaina
i Kulo' Mañaina
A’ gang sa’ mannannanga i taotao-mami
A’ gang i taotao-mami
Gof metgo’ i talen mami
Metgo’ i talen mami
Guaifi i kulo’ i kulo’ mami
I kulo’ i kulo’ mami
Guaifi i Kulo' Mañaina
i Kulo' Mañaina