Hello! my name is Clàudia Esplugas Masvidal, and I am an (intending) anthropology senior here at the University of Washington, all along with a minor in DXARTS, as well as GWSS. If I were to clarify a couple of things to better explain the so necessary context that surrounds my persona, I would say that:
1) My name is Clàudia with an open accent on the “a” as my parent’s little form of Catalan resilience: I was born in Barcelona, Catalonia, where for a long time we were not allowed to speak our fist language (Catalan). As language was re-incorporated in the academic curriculum when my parents were young, they found it very important to give me that accent as a variation of the Spanish/Latin version (which has no accent.) As a child I wouldn’t really understand such need, but nowadays with our Catalan parliament shut down by a coup from the Spanish government because of our independence referendum, I find it more important than ever.
2) I say “intending” because I have traveled a long road cruising this unexpected world of the undergraduate, with “ups and downs” if we look at my strictly academic record, but ultimately happy to say that I have explored the multiple intersections of those areas of study that I was always passionate about, and that altogether with my finished and in-progress projects and research, by the time I graduate this June I will definitely, most surely know where my passion, skills and values meet, and what activities I should keep on doing so I lead a fulfilling and happy live in this midst of capitalistic-induced climate change-era we have been born to.
Those activities and skills are: Writing poetry, short fiction, investigative journalism, documentary, photo journalism, reading anthropology, contemporary ethnography, social activism, de-colonization, researching what sovereignty means in all its faces, non-violence, civil-disobedience, singing and performing contemporary arts, experimental art film.
On 2016 I transferred to this university thanks to the student disability resources at Bellevue College , The Daily and started following Standing Rock and interviewing AIS faculty and students to understand Settler Colonialism resilience locally as well: Catalonia was about to hold a referendum and I needed to see different forms of resilience to take with me. My favorite anthropology classes were with professor Radhika Govindrajan, never had I seen what contemporary ethnography and anthropology of decolonization look like, and how I can apply them to myself as an individual.
In 2017 I started experiencing what it means to work and study full-time while having a learning disability in this country. I worked as a legal assistant and Spanish interpreter for an
Immigration Law office downtown Seattle, and I saw with my own eyes the devastating affects of the Trump administration on refugee families being detained at the Tacoma center: I saw how justice is a bureaucratic system invented by the same ones who incarcerate you and who release you by finding loops and wholes, which you can fill with money and your own blood. I feel very identified with Valeria Luiselli’s book Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, and would like to write down my experiences as well before I forget them.
I tried to keep up with the research project lead by professor Walter Andrews, the Svoboda Diaries Project where historical transcription and technology meet, and I started a small documentary mentored by Holly Barker, where I followed Pacific Islander students and their events as The Burke museum explores what it means to decolonize its structure and give back materials to their communities so they can use them for their events. It’s still on editing process.
Over the course of this summer, while also working, I have explored my voice, contemporary dance and visual poetry through a video collaboration with several artists, which we showed on our first art show on Capitol Hill early this month, and which I will keep on developing as I present it in future festivals if possible. It has been liberating to find creativity to be the most healing way of living, and as I focus on graduate school and other life adventures, it must keep on being explored.
This year, thanks to family friends and great professors who have supported my journey all these years, I am the director of the Womxn’s Action Commission (ASUW) and I will be incorporating aspects of decolonization, resilience, and will seek to partner with all the other diversity student commissions to put on programs and events that represent all of us and our struggles as womxn on the 21st century. I am partnering with the Intellectual House and with Dr. Luana Ross to put on an Indigenous Feminisms event on Spring, and I cannot wait to see what wonderful fruits come out of our new team, as I seek the intersectionality of my fields of interest, my creativity and our team’s passion.
I have been in love with several archaeological projects all my live, and I’ve been following Professor Gonzalez’s work for some time since I transferred in this university: I can’t wait to see how my view on community based archaeology shape my understanding of the discipline!