Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2011-12

(Oakland, California)Xandra Ibarra

Xandra Ibarra is a performance artist, ecdysiast and community organizer that explores Chican@ iconography, issues of race, gender and sexuality. She is founder and artistic director of Kaleidoscope Cabaret, a national people of color performance festival she produces annually. Ibarra is a graduate of San Francisco's State's Ethnic Studies program where she won The Distinguished Graduate Student Award and Hood Award for her academic work on Neo-Minstrelsy in Neo-Burlesque. A Queer Chicana Performance Artist and Activist, Ibarra was awarded the title of Miss Gay Latina 2005 award for her activist and performance work in the immigrant queer communities. She has presented her academic and performance work widely. Ibarra is actively engaged in community organizing through her participation with INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, a national women of color grassroots organization, and is currently the Board President of Young Women's Empowerment project, a street economy youth run project. Within these community organizations she has used research, race-sex positive education, and the arts to help organize women of color in the sex industry and immigrant Latinas.


Staring daringly at the erotics of race, this multidisciplinary solo performance tells the true journey of a queer Mexican performer in the sordidly glamorous world of burlesque. La Chica Boom, the protagonist, joins burlesque wide-eyed and ten years later she is forced to figure out why she still performs.  Throughout her voyage, she confronts white feminist superiority, colonial injury, and perverse desire with provocative wit. As the white devil she invokes the tenets of burlesque, as the late Lupe Velez she performs a purging strip, and in the end she summons Carmen Miranda to discover the cathartic nature of failure.