Two Latinas Headline “A Rapist in Your Way” Performance Outside Harvey Weinstein’s Rape Trial in New York

Yara Travieso Weinstein BELatina
Photo Credit IG @dj_diabeatic

Last Friday, two historic milestones collided on the avenues of New York: While former producer and film industry mogul Harvey Weinstein was finally held accountable for his more than three decades of abuse and violence against women, some 60 women brought to the streets the anthem against gender violence that has been going around the world.

A group of women dressed in black and red organized to bring to the New York City courthouse the performance “Un Violador en Tu Camino” (A Rapist in Your Way), by the Chilean art collective Las Tesis.

To the song “It’s not my fault not where I was, not how I dress,” the third feminist revolution had its peak, being shared millions of times in social media, one of them by New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor, who won a Pulitzer Prize with her colleague Megan Twohey for their reporting on the Weinstein scandal.

In the foreground of the video you can see two of the organizers of the performance, Paola Mendoza and Yara Travieso, who together with Sarah Sophie Flicker and other members of the Resistance Revival Chorus raised their voices to put the last nail in the episode of Harvey Weinstein.

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Además, quisiéramos aclarar que rechazamos categóricamente todos aquellos actos de discriminación a mujeres con hij-s, de homofobia y de transodio ocurridos en nuestras convocatorias. Nuestra invitación siempre ha sido y será para mujeres y disidencias, con lo cual buscamos generar un espacio seguro para todas y todes, y no permitiremos que estos actos violentos lo destruyan. A todas las personas que incitan al odio en nuestras publicaciones, nos desean entre otras cosas la violación y la muerte, les queremos decir que no les tenemos miedo. Ahora somos miles. A todos l-s políticos que han manifestado estar tan de acuerdo con nuestro discurso, ahora es su momento de pasar a la acción y ser consecuentes. Ya escucharon nuestras demandas y las de todo un país que lleva 48 días movilizado, ahora es el momento de actuar y rápido. Nosotras seguimos trabajando, seguimos resistiendo, les avisamos y les esperamos. En Chile se violan derechos humanos. Ahora más que nunca renuncia ministra Plá. Renuncia Piñera. Exigimos una Asamblea Constituyente paritaria y plurinacional Y QUE ARDA EL PATRIARCADO. *Video de LASTESIS, intervención en Valparaíso, viernes 29 de noviembre.

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Born in Colombia, Paola Mendoza came to the United States as a child, performing between the cities of California and New York. After her role in On the Outs, a feature film on which she collaborated as a writer, her career has allowed her to not only develop her skills as an actress but also as a director.

Mendoza has focused much of her documentary work on representing the immigrant experience in the country.

Her leap into activism came when, after the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, she decided to help her friend Carmen Perez, executive director of The Gathering for Justice, in organizing the massive women’s march in Washington DC on January 21, she told Univision at the time.

For her part, Yara Travieso, daughter of a Venezuelan mother and Cuban father, was born in Miami in a deeply creative home. She co-founded the experimental Borscht Film Festival and trained as a dancer at New York’s Juilliard School, where she currently teaches an original Film/New Media/Entrepreneurship course.

She has also been a speaker at The Ford Foundation, The Park Avenue Armory, MoMA, among others. Travieso became a YoungArts awardee at an early age in 2005, four years before receiving her degree from Juilliard, and in 2019 won The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Grant via the Ford Foundation. 

Her work as a storyteller combines different media and narratives, always focusing on the experience of Latin American women.

This way, it was only natural that Mendoza and Travieso were the two central voices in a performance that has put an end to the forced tolerance of millions of women to gender violence, in the United States and the rest of the world.