By Darren S de Leon
Tlacuilix: Tongues In Quarantine is the first book by Project 1521, a group of Southern California writers, scholars, and an artist. The collection of poetry and prose centers the experience of people who have endured family separations, colonialism, and institutional violence and have responded through cultural affirmation and various forms of resistance. It features the related paintings of Sandy Rodriguez.
Project 1521 writers created new text in response to original artworks by Sandy Rodriguez and drew inspiration in the Florentine Codex; studied and wrote about how the content echoed the pain and resistance in today's social justice movements. The Codex is a monumental history of the Indigenous people of central Mexico made in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs in 1521. In 1576, the Indigenous scribes and artists finishing the Codex sequestered to survive a raging plague. Project 1521 sequestered through the 2020-2021 COVID-19 global pandemic and wrote about Central American migrants, immigration, genocide, police brutality, and the remnants of colonialism in Latin America and beyond.