Raquel Gutiérrez

Artist in Residence, 2024

Artist Statement

Living in the borderlands of Tucson, Arizona these past seven years has fine-tuned my writing, in particular my critical and creative nonfiction, for a wider audience. My work is ultimately a sustained address to the relational and Southwest terrains through which I travel. My writing practice emerges from a space of experimental form and genre promiscuity as a means for critical connection, while remaining faithful to legible forms of narrative.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands I plan to revel in a backlogged body of research: notes, bookmarked websites, doodles and marginalia, etc. I am eager to be in a temporary intentional community of artists, makers, and thinkers as I firmly believe that creative working is never a singular act but a process informed by critical comradeship. This is all in service to drafting a book-length essay and continuing work on a novel about 1990s-era networks of radical affinities and the Central American solidarity movement in Los Angeles.

In the next stage of my writing trajectory I want to narrate ideas about education, access, labor, banishment, art, gun violence and policing from my vantage point in the Southwest borderlands. Living in Southern Arizona has given me a chance to look at the world through a colorful prism of contradiction, primarily where Latinidad and the culture of law enforcement intersect. My nonfiction project focuses on the overrepresentation of Latinxs in law enforcement and what that might tell us about contemporary Latinx life in the borderlands, a place that hasn’t always been hospitable to the region’s immigrant and Indigenous populations.