Xochimilco, Teotihuacán

To measure the extremities of México City’s condition, an understanding of its original (pre-hispanic) state as the city of Teotihuacán is a must. I learned about it through initial researching and through our the work of our animation pals; but otherwise, the ancient city is almost untraceable as it was buried under the monster that is México City. We took a couple days to tour Xochimilco (original canal systems of Lake Texcoco) and Teotihuacán (the Avenue of the Dead, and the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon) to envision what the preserved Aztec city was like in its hay-day, and to find their connection with today’s México City.

Xochimilco: our trajinera named “POR QUE”- reading our own existential crises about the state of the city.
Xochimilco: Floating kitchen trajinera docks onto a customer’s, surrounded by chinampa system. Photo: A+A

Xochimilco made clear water’s importance in planning during Teotihuacán’s time – after-all, the city was built on a lake. Today, México City sits in a valley and floods when it rains (which has been everyday, during our stay). We took a trajinera tour at pre-hispanic speeds, how once a whole city operated, and how today is used touristically and festively. We pondered how this system now connects to the surrounding water bodies, which still needs answering.

Xochimilco: trajinera dock. Photo: A+A
Teotihuacán: View from Pyramid of the Moon. Photo: A+A

Teotihuacán offered more glimpse of scale of planning, architecture, and their political placement. Also now functioning through a touristic framework, but gave a foundation for a history of México City.

As we speak with more activists, we see a reference to mythologies and pre-hispanic histories when voicing about water emergencies in México. There is something worth looking into there – through narrative, aesthetic, and program.

Entries may become short as I catch up with the last few days. Apologies.

Teotihuacán: View of Feathered Snail Room. Photo: A+A
Teotihuacán: Alberto and Leandro within. Photo: A+A

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