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Queer Art & Archives

Lotería by Margarita C.

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This project imagines what popular Latinx imagery would look like in the Queer community of Toronto in the 1990s. This is imagined through archived photographs, newspapers, and posters of this community found at the ArQuives. This project specifically highlights people and places that are present in the archival documents, such as in pictures of the Gay Latino group Hola at Pride, articles in the Escondido Magazine, which was the Hola group’s magazine, and posters of events.

I integrated these people and places into a Lotería game, which is a typical Mexican card game, but more generally a popular Latinx game. This game is often used as a template to depict popular or traditional imagery. This project utilizes this traditional game as inspiration to convey the significance of the people, places, and events specific to Toronto and the Latinx Queer community as seen through the archive.

Traditionally, Lotería cards have an image that represents a popular Mexican event, artifact, or cultural symbol. They were created in the 19th century, when national identity, land, and society’s physical and behavioural characteristics were a major concern for new American nations. They often represent the taxonomy of the nations’ social types, such as El Musico (The Musician), El Borracho (The Drunk), and El Soldado (The Soldier). For this reason, the game served as a popular form of communicating national, individual, and moral values. Similarly, these cards taught common knowledge of the family, community, and religion, to reinforce society’s collective memory (Beezley, 2008).

During games, each card is accompanied by a rhyme or verse, which emphasizes both the sensorial and aesthetic aspects of the game, and why they can be such powerful transmitters of information. Accordingly, through this project, I wanted to illustrate popular icons and traditions that reflect both the past and the present of the Latinx and Queer Toronto community, since they depict some of the characteristics and common knowledge of the community in the city. 

Works Cited
Beezley, W. H. (2008). Tightly Knotted Nodes of Possibility. In Mexican National Identity: Memory, innuendo, and popular culture (pp. 19–52). essay, University of Arizona Press.
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El Día del Orgullo (The day of Pride)

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(2003). Toronto Pride parade 2003 [Photograph of Person at Toronto Pride]. Photograph Collection (2018-014/21P(01)-(24), Photograph Collection Box 49). ArQuives, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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El Convento Rico (The [bar] Convento Rico)

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La Miss Hola 

Latino Group Hola. (2016, March). Throwback Thursday!
Latino Group HOLA, desde 1991……..25 años! 
[Photos Attached] [Photo of Miss Hola 1996].Facebook. Link.
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La Bandera (The Flag)


EL 519

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"El Grupo Gay Latino HOLA te invita a asistir a sus reuniones mensuales, el tercer jueves de cada mes en el Centro Comunitario No. 519 de la calle Church, de 8:00 p.m. a 10:00 p.m. Toma participación y asiste!"

"The Gay Latino Group Hola invites you to attend its monly meetings every third Thursday of the month, at the 519 community centre on Church Street, from 8 p.m to 10 p.m. Take part and attend!" 

(1993 July-October). Escondido: Boletin Informativo del Grupo Gay Latino HOLA. (1993: 1(1-2, 4)). ArQuives, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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La Maria del Monte 

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(2000 November). [Event poster featuring Maria Del Monte]. Posters Collection (2080-020/05N,MC 1.5 Folder 2). ArQuives, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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La Miss Verano (Miss Summer)

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(1993 July-October). Escondido: Boletin Informativo del Grupo Gay Latino HOLA. (1993: 1(1-2, 4)). ArQuives, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dennis / Dee Dee

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(1995 December). Dennis / Dee Dee [Sound recording]. Audio Collection (2001-091/62T, AV.5.2). ArQuives, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.