Berwynner featured on Chicago Mag’s “Why They Marched”

On Saturday, January 21, nearly 250,000 people participated in the Chicago Women’s March. Many from the Chicagoland area were in attendance, including Berwyn resident Naomi Martinez. Chicago Magazine spoke with a handful of women about why they marched (READ FULL ARTICLE HERE).

Naomi Martinez
39, artist, Berwyn

Photo courtesy of Chicago Magazine; taken by Martin Xavi Macias

“I’m marching to create space for brown women, to share my art, and celebrate my connection to indigenous people.”

Naomi Martinez was rallying on the streets when Donald Trump canceled his March 2016 rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “I don’t believe in that, ‘let’s give him a chance,’” she says. “He seems like a dictator.”

At her home art studio in Berwyn, the night before the march in Chicago, she began painting her sign. It read, “Mujer, Indígena, Luchadora,” or “Woman, Indigenous, Fighter” in English. She says, “We are a country of many languages and that’s why I made my sign in Spanish.”

Martinez, who was born in Texas and moved to Logan Square when she was six years old, planned to attend the march with other members of Mujeres Mutantes, a female artist collective whose work centers on gender, race, justice, sexuality, and “indigeneity.” Martinez uses her painting, doll making, and other works to speak out against issues like cuts to public education budgets, anti-indigenous violence, and violence against women (among her main gripes against Trump—he “embodies rape culture”).

“I’m going as a woman, as a trabajadora [worker]. I’m going as someone that cares about community and not for building exclusivity,” she says.

Martinez says her heart was “so full” from seeing the huge turnout of people on Saturday. She was surprised to not see more signs about Standing Rock or indigenous women, but she did hear chants about Black Lives Matter—and, she saw men standing in solidarity.

“The role of men in this is to support our causes and stand beside us,” she says. “We should all be feminists, really, right?”

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