The Coyolxauhqui Imperative

Liliana Conlisk Gallegos

Medium: Animation
Issues: Chicana Femnism, Indigenous Culture, Mythology, Poetry, and Storytelling


The Coyolxauhqui Imperative 2020 is an audio visual, indigenous history-based VR piece composed of research, artistic repurposing and spoken word, to bear witness, honor, and visualize a genealogy of the experiences of Indigenous and Latinx women of the Americas. It is a decolonial retelling of the mythopoetic experience of womanhood within the context of the American continent with a focus on Mexico and the United States in relation to European colonialism, US imperialism, and neoliberalism and globalization. This VR production is composed of three major parts, each one representing a main archetype of womanhood embodied by three feminine characters of Mexican and Xicanx mythopoetics: “La Malinche” (The traitor), “La Llorona” (The weeper), and “La Chingada” (The fucked-over one). For this show, I will be exhibiting the part dedicated to “La Malinche” with brief insights into the next two parts.

I have used TiltBrush in VR to design a virtual world composed of multiple dialogues. Visually there is a trialogue between i) pieces of my own analogue paintings and drawings, ii) my digital interventions on excerpts of Mexican murals depicting indigenous Mexico and the conquest of the Americas (contesting their patriarchal lens), and finally, iii) digitized pictographic excerpts taken from Spanish-intervened original indigenous Mexica-Tenochca texts known as codices. Theoretically there is a dialogue between historical representations of the mythopoetics of womanhood in the Americas, Xicanx queer feminist, and my own cosmovision as a Xicanx artist from the Tijuana border, who is also a scholar but who looks to embrace research and the presentation of knowledge production in new and exciting ways. Finally, there are the multiple possible dialogues between the users and the piece itself depending on the audio that accompanies the experience. I hope that within any contradictions found in the above experience, this reinforces the importance and value of the Coyolxauhqui Imperative (Anzaldúa) and the freedom brought by diversity and inclusion in terms of identity-based experience and exchange.


Liliana Conlisk Gallegos is a first generation Xicana, transfronteriza de la region entre Tijuana y San Ysidro. She is a perpetual border crosser, and a native foreigner par excellence. The transfronteriza identity is laced by a different form of trauma, one that comes from repeated acts and variant forms of dehumanization spread across generationally. This experience living on the border inspires her specialization in the artistic decolonization of current academic perceptions of knowledge. Anti-colonialista, indigenista, co-conspiradora con mis hermana/o/xs indocumentados y LGBTQ+. She is known as an “Uncivil disruptor who doesn’t know her place.” Sin miedo a decir la verdad because many sacrificed so much for that to even be possible. She also uses humor as a power source. Optimus Prime Trauma Transformer, experimenter with art, virtual reality, multimedia, performer of research, translator of and filter for supremacist formats in order to curate interactive research performances for community healing. Dr. Conlisk Gallegos founded the Coyote Pack in 2017, a collective of innovators, artists and educators at Cal State University, San Bernardino where students established a platform to voice and act towards the aftermath following the political circumstances undergone during the recent elections and post-inauguration.