Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Never Another One


Cintia Bolio, "Virginia Woolf" for Revista con la A,
September 26, 2017.


Quotations tend to be presented with a smug smile. This one is noteworthy for being nothing of the sort. There is a deep pain in stating the truth of having to express oneself solely by way of concealing what one stands for. Placing one's art out there, without the right to be there oneself.

Cintia Bolio has given us a new Virginia Woolf. The latter is usually always drawn in profile, all angular lines with the portraitist going all the way, doing what the art photographers in her day could but hint at. Cintia Bolio, on the other hand, lets Virginia Woolf look directly at us, with three sharp and shadowed layers for eyes. We are facing a fact and Cintia Bolio is making certain there is no mental escape.

Author and cartoonist are further connected by the ink as their basic means for expressing themselves. Cintia Bolio draws with a strength and flourish to her line, playing with us that what may seem a traditional feminine touch, has the power to cut open our way of seeing things. Mouths are dangling before their faces, as we shall see below, because the world is so outrageous every boundary should be broken. Just not on Virginia; the two of them are in accordance.

Above, the ink well is spelling the name of the one, with the other letting that name flourish into two of her main subjects: the heart and the uterus.
Cintia Bolio, 2017.
"How to own your body
without being criminalized in the attempt".

AT LONG LAST the uterus gets her own say.

And we have a new body part in the arts.

A visual presence of a body part, which has been there all along, unseen and yet suppressed as that place of from where all danger stems.

The proof has been in equal measurement mythical and sociological, just as science has declared its fair share of nonsense through the ages.

But this uterus drawn by Cintia Bolio no longer puts up with men defining her and she has much to do.



Cintia Bolio, on abortion for World Policy Journal, January 2017.

Case in point in the immediate above and below. The uterus has speech bubbles in her own right and the force to fly her own way. "Justice belongs to those who exercise it" as Cintia Bolio adds to the cartoon below. A sentence which is at the center of the struggle. The miter does his utmost.


Cintia Bolio, Decriminalization and Effects, 2008.

Cintia Bolio:
"Political prisoners for abortion, Freedom!"



The uterus clenches her one ovary ready to take on the fight.

Hers is a dangerous task. She is fighting for freedom, pointing to specific problems women are facing in Mexico such as minimal wages, being left out of paid leave and health insurance, while trying to raise their children on the next to nothing they earn.

The discrimination reaches into the body of the Mexican woman, and thus we return to the uterus herself. This is where it gets dangerous for her, questioning her status.

Such as questioning the status of life and the right to abortion. Cintia Bolio uses the very definition given to the uterus on the male situation. Considering not a single living entity is allowed to go to waste as the reason for making abortion illegal, what about the male daily outlet of.... how many? Such a waste and what is more: THAT is illegal.  

Cintia Bolio, detail from the satirical magazine El Chamuco, September 2016.
"In contrast, men do not, although they abort more every time
they ejaculate without reproductive purposes"

With this Cintia Bolio declares The Male Abortion.

Cintia Bolio, detail from the satirical
magazine El Chamuco, September 2016.
The male counterpart loses his breakfast at hearing this... although he is not late in arguing back, taking on the status of Rightful Judge. "My law" as he phrases it, when confronted with The Grim Reaper, who sees a new line of work.

The Grim Reaper argues that norms do not change the fact that spermatozoa contain life to which his opponent responds "I refuse to see it that way, We are not stupid."

Thus argues the one gender on behalf of the other.


Cintia Bolio, The Ideal Female Citizen, 2015.
"- Done. You have no need for such leftist rights...
to fulfill your obligations"


Tied from within with no chance express herself at the ballot box and with this we add another layer to the violence of the situation. It is one thing throwing light on abortion by way of uncovering the double standards. Another is the number of women murdered. Considering their number it is a slaughter and all too many are never even found, quoting Margaret Atwood how


"Men are afraid that women will laugh at them.
Women are afraid that men will kill them".

Cintia Bolio, Memento, 2005.

Cintia Bolio, detail from Memento, 2005.

It is heart wrenching seeing the drawing on its own to the left. The skeletal hand, touching the Missing Person poster with her own portrait, probably never to be found. The story of a life in which each page is composed on the pink cross of the murdered woman.

The symbolism carried by the likes of the uterus and the pink cross are at once new and well-known, creating a presence of the ones, who have been here all along, yet unseen and later unfound.

"I did not love my life, because it was a good one, but because it was mine", our unfound protagonist lays before us. The right to live is as always a question posed only to the weakest in our societies. The sick, the elderly and the women: Is your life of value?

Cintia Bolio, Memento, 2005.


Cintia Bolio, 2017.
"Fighting the violence and gender discrimination.
-This is where you came from. Respect".

Respect. Presence. Voice.

At which we are right back at the heart in the scroll in Virginia Woolf's name. The hearts of Cintia Bolio are the ones pumping pain or sound or both, with the insistence of empathy and understanding as its center.

The heart below addresses the murdering of journalists, to which Cintia Bolio and Virginia Woolf belong each in her way. Anyone touching upon the necessity of change set themselves in danger.

Yet Cintia Bolio speaks. For the very necessity for it: Ni una más. Never another one.




Cintia Bolio: Without Journalism No Democracy, August 2017.
"NO TO SILENCE "



The cartoons shown are courtesy of Cintia Bolio and must not be reproduced without her permission.




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