University of Notre Dame

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Venas de Oro

posted on 2024-03-25, 01:58 authored by Kristyn Garza

"Venas de Oro" is the culmination of the past two years of study spent circulating, drawing close then flinching from, the ever elusive concept of “origin” and its relation to the self as well as belonging. This work considers the very real existence of having to piece one’s origin together, having to compile the self in order to gain any semblance of grounding. With documents accepted by the general public (a birth certificate, a change of address card, a taxonomic journal entry reminiscent of Darwin’s "On the Origin of Species"), this work attempts to validate existence through a compiling of traces of the self. What this work gleefully enjoys complicating, however, is the conception of a “self.” Drawing on my own experience being born and growing up on the Mexican-U.S. border, I’ve chosen to explore the ways in which a self can be simultaneously multiple, intimately singular, and nosotras-like in the sense of an external communal and transcendent ancestral “we.” Compiled along with “official” documents lie: arias of two of many personas in the work, a recipe, haunted handwriting. What seeps out between the stacks of validity in paper form is up for interpretation, but I think it clear upon reading the work in its entirety that the self (that of not just inhabitation, but of origination) is made to shapeshift for survival, for assimilation, for acceptance, for fulfillment, for likening. In this sense I am Them am Us am We and all at once Nothing. Through this, memory and, therefore, connections exist always and are to be kept sacred within the body, the self understood as origin. Origin understood as a living breathing thing that exists within and that is created and deconstructed and that exists in the world through the transitory. Ever fluctuating, ever violently borderline yet deliciously malleable. Myself I present to you in this work, an accumulation of the possibility of me.


Date Modified


CIP Code

  • 23.0101

Research Director(s)

Joyelle McSweeney


  • Master of Fine Arts

Degree Level

  • Master's Thesis

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OCLC Number


Additional Groups

  • Creative Writing
  • English

Program Name

  • Creative Writing

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    Masters Theses


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