“Mujer Soy” is the latest song to be released by East LA’s urban folk sensation Las Cafeteras. The band is known for it’s socially-conscious music, and “Mujer Soy” is released in light of the recent celebrations and demonstrations held for International Women’s Day.
The video made by Elefante Collective features the dance remix collaboration with Yukicito, member of Los Angeles DJ Crew La Junta Sound System. The song carries consistent melodic hymns combined with the traditional folk sounds of flute and jarana. We asked the female members of the group, Leah Rose Gallegos, Annette Torres, and Denise Carlos about how the song came about. Denise said, “I introduced the words and stories to Leah and Annette during a “mujeres music” session we had at my home a few years back. They loved the idea of singing for and about womyn and the three of us created the melodies of the song, which we then presented to the other members of Las Cafeteras.” The end result of “Mujer Soy” is an homage to their fellow sisters and each other.
The video follows the life of Chicana Mary Anne Aguirre through the streets of East Los Angeles. We see her many roles as mother, worker, chef, bike mechanic, community organizer, and, above all, as a woman. Her routine encapsulates the strength that various women in our own lives embody as they work tirelessly in the community as well as in the home.
Despite a long day filled with childcare, work, and navigating the streets of LA, Mary Anne finds the time to participate in building community. She sits among many women who smudge themselves with sage to bless the space as they sit down to create. The women make posters that convey messages of intersectional feminism and political concepts. Statements such as Decolonize Our Bodies, Que Vivan Las Mamas, and Smash the Cistem are used and affirm a new wave of feminism, one that is emerging from the efforts by women of color organizing their own communities.
In real life the video’s protagonist Mary Anne is a member of the women’s bike brigade Ovarian Psycos, as well as a member of Multicultural Communities for Mobility, an organization that advocates for safer streets in low income communities of color. At a time where issues such as sexism and misogyny still make daily headlines, this video is a great example for ways to honor and celebrate the everyday real women in our lives.