Marta Martinez graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in Latin American Studies with a concentration in Anthropology. After being awarded the Mellon Mays Fellowship, she studied in Mexico City and UC Santa Barbara researching the impact of the Mexican and Chicano mural movements on identity formation. Since returning to her native San Francisco, she has worked for several nonprofits, started her own massage business, and made a short documentary with the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project. Her film “Mi Casa Es Mi Casa” discusses gentrification in the Mission District of San Francisco and premiered at the Queer Woman of Color Film Festival in May 2009. In the spring of 2010 Marta participated in Stick ‘em Up: Sticker Club in Mexico City, a collaborative community art project with several artists at the Galeria de Comercio. Her interests are in identity politics, community formation, illustration, photography, environment, and education.
About Marta Martinez’s Thesis Project
Baring Identities: Queer Women of Color in Neo-Burlesque
From the recent blockbuster film Burlesque to shows that are springing up in clubs and bars around the country, it is clear that the neo-burlesque movement that began in the 1990s is still growing strong. Queer women of color occupy a particular niche in neo-burlesque that synthesizes complex identity discourses. For queer women of color who are spectators, these performances offer a sense of belonging and community by recalling shared histories. The performers’ intersectional identity also exposes viewers from outside their communities to new visions of interpersonal understanding, as dancers turn the stage into a site of imagination, education, and transformation. A close reading of “Dominatrix of the Barrio” reveals the ways that La Chica Boom uses humor, sensuality, sass, and political savvy as a means towards resistance, survival, and self-liberation.