Borders – The Tao of Mestizaje
This is an essay version of Carlos Morton’s keynote address delivered at the conference organized by the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Migrations held at the University of Gdańsk in September 2021. The prolific Chicano playwright had been asked by the IBSC to speak about his life on the borderlands. His life story is told in the first person, in anecdotes and observations, revealed in a vibrant dialog with processes in the world around him. Morton is a cultural historian, essayist and a humorist in the tradition of José Antonio Burciaga or Carey McWilliams. Morton relishes paradox, seeks facts, and connects the subjective of the private life with the events of the world. His testimony is playful, associative, Taoist. Morton’s vision is cosmopolitan and culture specific. The “Tao of Mestizaje” is to suggest that Morton’s mestizaje is a type of consciousness, a way of life. The text as well as its accompanying artworks by Ricardo Duffy or other photos are also its iterations.