I remember when I first learned about the powerful work of Ana Mendieta and Coco Fusco. I was an undergrad student majoring in Art History in my hometown, Mexico City. The class was called Contemporary Art Theory and while the material seen thus far was absolutely interesting, it was nonetheless -- at least from my incipient feminist perspective at the time -- too male dominated. That day, however, the work of Ana Mendieta (b. La Havana 1948-d. New York 1985) appeared projected on the classroom screen and it was like a breath of fresh air. I immediately felt a connection with both her aesthetics and politics. There she was, a young woman relying on her body as her main means of expression and using almost exclusively natural elements to create her pieces. After briefly going through some of her oeuvre, the professor then showed us a video in which two artists, Coco Fusco (b. New York 1960) and Guillermo Gómez-Peña, toured the world appearing caged and dressed as indigenous people from an "undiscovered island" in their performance piece Two Undiscovered Amerindians Discover the West and again, I couldn't believe my eyes. The fun, audacity and defying power of such art and performance stays with me until this day. I had, finally, two contemporary women referents within the male dominated art world. But there was yet another common trait among Mendieta and Fusco that I was to find quite appealing: the fact that they were both of Cuban origin but who ended up living in the U.S. This fact, which probably would have not had so much relevance had I continued to live in Mexico, took on much more meaning now that I am both living in the U.S. myself and pursuing a masters' degree in Women's Studies. Hence, my personal experience as a border-crosser in the most metaphorical sense of the word, even if in my case it was a voluntary and conscious decision, has definitely shed some light into what it means to be a Latina in this Anglo dominant country. I have come to grasp the complexity of self-definition in a reality where my identity (a Mexican woman) is constantly confronted by an exogenous discourse that either puts me down or just simply annuls my being. I mean, I grew up thinking that I was a woman and that America was a continent, but now I have learned how contingent those two categories are. So yes, just by changing my location I have acquired a woman of color status and America has been reduced into a country. My respect and admiration for these women, then, drives not only from my academic, art historical interest in their works, but it also draws from my feminist and personal empathy to their life experience. Choosing Mendieta and Fusco as my object of study is thus an honor and a challenge that I am willing to undertake in order to further explore their achievements both at a personal and at a professional level.