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Anzaldúa believed that it is only through autohistoria-teoría that new forms of collectivity and leadership could emerge that would be capable of changing the world. For Anzaldúa, autohistoria-teoría is transfigurative. It is a shamanistic method that depends upon the ability of performance to transform the storyteller and the witness into something or someone else… Begin by writing down interesting words, ideas, or concepts — words that strike you as moving — words you can take home with you. Words like nadir, for example, apex or autohistoria-teoria may enable you to make connections beyond what we now know. When you stand and deliver, sharing those connections with us, you transform from passive-witness members of the audience into active witnesses. As you speak you are transformed and transformer, leader, shaman. I am convinced that this kind of “shaman-witness ritual” is crucial to any methodology of emancipation. It is through this kind of spoken word art performance activism, or SWAPA ritual, that speakers and audience can be connected into a single community of activists.

Chela Sandoval, “Critical Moments: A Dialogue Toward Survival and Transformation”