Xandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance artist, ecdysiast and community organizer from the El Paso/Juarez border
La Chica Boom is a neo-burlesque project that Xandra began in 2002 to performatively question sexual/racial representation, queer formations, and compulsory whiteness.
Ibarra’s performance work interrogates the spectacular suffering and survival of fixed images/narratives that have reduced Latinidad to a list of hollow iconographic symbols. She integrates her prior experience in physical theater and burlesque in an attempt to reorganize symbols such as piñatas, virgens, cockroaches, wrestlers, tapatio and border whores. Her work is not about what Mexicanidad is but about the spectacle of mimetic Mexicanidad as a disciplined and controlled existence. As a result she considers much of her work minstrel performance or “spic-tacle” (a term/concept she coined) in that it focuses on degeneracy and power. Ibarra’s hope is to perform work that is both against and engaged in the colonial gaze and nostalgia for Mexicanidad.
Ibarra’s community organizing work is located within immigrant, anti-rape and prison abolitionist movements. Since 2003, she has actively participated in organizing with INCITE, a national organization dedicated to creating interventions at the intersection of state and interpersonal violence. She currently organizes with FUSE, a national grassroots collective that supports people of color, black and indigenous people in the sex industry. Ibarra lectures Ethnic Studies courses at San Francisco State University and has been invited to present her academic and performance work at Universities and institutions across the country.