Artist “Cimi” Alvarado Teaches History Through the Murals of El Segundo Barrio

Great article by Roberto José Andrade Franco for Texas Highways

Frida Kahlo, a symbol of Mexican identity, as depicted by artist Jesus “Cimi” Alvarado.

It’s sprinkling rain and the surrounding desert smells of wet dirt as Jesus “Cimi” Alvarado, an artist and an arts and culture coordinator for the Boys & Girls Club, takes his phone out of his pocket. He taps the phone and points the camera at a mural he painted on the side of El Mandadito de Waneks, a locally owned corner store at Campbell Street and 4th Avenue in El Paso. The mural, titled Barrio Soul, has a background shade of green that almost matches the color of prickly pear cacti found in this part of Texas. Featured on it are enlarged, black-and-white photographs of late El Paso radio personality Steve Crosno and local musical acts from the 1950s through ’70s, including The Nite Dreamers and The El Paso Drifters. These bands play oldies you can still hear from windows of homes and slow-moving cars on a Sunday afternoon.

Cimi is standing in El Segundo Barrio, a working-class neighborhood whose southern border is outlined by the Rio Grande separating El Paso from Juárez; Texas from Chihuahua; and the United States from Mexico. Historically, El Segundo Barrio has been one of the first stops for many Mexican citizens arriving in the U.S. It’s known as another Ellis Island. Walk around and you’re more likely to hear Spanish than English.

As Cimi steadies his phone, the mural suddenly comes alive. Thanks to the Augment El Paso app, which debuted in 2015, Barrio Soul becomes an interactive experience where you can hear the music of each of those artists and read their short biographies. But because the stories behind the dozens of murals that inhabit El Segundo Barrio aren’t readily available—they’re oral history, not written record—part of bringing the murals to life through the app includes searching for people who lived that history and can convey it. “We don’t have these archived,” Cimi says of the photographs he uses as models, “so we have to go find these viejitos and be like, ‘Hey, we want to talk to you.’”

Viejitos is a loving term for older people. They are the grandparents who walk through El Segundo Barrio during the day. Sometimes, they walk their gentle steps while holding the hands of their grandchildren. Sometimes, viejitos see Cimi working on a mural, and they stop to reminisce. They point at the mural and tell their grandchildren about how they grew up. How El Segundo Barrio, for better or worse, is changing. How new apartment buildings have replaced the old houses that once stood there. How a few decades ago, gangs on every other block would have made it difficult to even stand there, in the heart of El Segundo Barrio, and admire one of the many colorful murals that says something about this place. Viejitos help bring to life all of these murals, which collectively tell the story of the area’s deep ties to Chicano culture.

Cesar Chavez and Emiliano Zapata in a community garden.

While walking between a few of the eight murals he’s painted in different parts of El Segundo Barrio, Cimi points at one of the others that has been there for decades. “That’s by Felipe Adame,” he says, nodding at a mural. Adame is a celebrated muralist who passed away in 2017 and whose work colors many walls of the barrio. “[He’s one] of the guys that, now as an adult, you go back and realize what they were doing, or trying to do—the same thing that we’re doing now. They were case workers or social workers who were working with gang members and doing the murals.”

“I wanted to teach history,” Cimi says, “and then I ended up doing muralism. I’m still trying to, I guess, do the same thing.”

Cimi, 42, was born in Juárez and raised here. Keeping El Segundo Barrio’s history alive is important to him. In high school, as he learned more about Chicano and indigenous history, young Jesus became Cimi, a Mayan word representing that culture’s concept of “continuous growth.” It was also there, at Bowie High School, that Cimi met Gaspar Enriquez, an art teacher and artist whose work is displayed in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, among other places. “It inspired me,” Cimi says of his would-be mentor’s art, “because it was like, whoa, he’s painting us. He’s painting who we are. And he’s not ashamed of doing it.”

In the past two decades, Cimi has painted several murals across Texas. They depict figures and symbols that reflect Mexican and Mexican American identity—Emiliano Zapata, Cesar Chavez, indigenous iconography, and the international bridges that, in a border town like El Paso, many people cross daily.

In Dallas, Cimi’s murals color the walls of the Oak Cliff neighborhood, another historic Mexican barrio in Texas. Last year in Marfa, Cimi and his team painted a mural that retold a part of that city’s lesser-known history. The mural, titled Pages from the Marfa Storybook, features an adobe building that for almost 60 years served as Marfa’s segregated school for students of Mexican descent. Also last year, Cimi painted murals in Mexico City, Los Angeles, and of course, El Paso.

Cimi in front of El Mandadito de Waneks.

“I wanted to teach history,” Cimi says, “and then I ended up doing muralism. I’m still trying to, I guess, do the same thing.”

Back in El Paso, Cimi is standing in front of one of his other murals, El Corrido del Segundo Barrio, located at 801 S. Florence St., near the Boys & Girls Club. “They’re from el barrio,” he says of the two musicians—one holding an accordion, the other a guitar—at the center of the mural. “They go from little bar to little bar or restaurant, and they play.”

In the lower left-hand corner, the mural shows a mother bathing her son inside of a metal tub in the middle of a tenement courtyard. Cimi then points to the lower right-hand side. There are three people carrying backpacks who are about to cross a bridge during sunset. “They are migrating through the rio,” Cimi explains, incorporating Spanish words and phrases into his conversation, as he often does. “[It’s] how a lot of our people, our families, got here.”

Walk around El Paso’s Segundo Barrio and it’s impossible not to notice that it’s changing—gentrifying, to speak plainly. But a constant are the murals that artists like Cimi and others before him have painted. Some have been there for decades. Others are relatively new. Each of them continues the muralist tradition of telling stories of the past within a changing present. Documenting these narratives, through viejitos or other sources, is crucial to keeping this history alive in the app-driven, digital era.

“I see it as an obligation to teach our youth about who we are and the stories that happen, especially in this community,” Cimi says while walking across the park behind the Boys & Girls Club. There, he’s working on yet another mural on the history of El Segundo Barrio.

El Corrido del Segundo Barrio.

CfP: Latino New Jersey: Histories, Communities, and Politics

Anyone out there writing scholarly essays on Latinos in New Jersey? Here’s your chance to work with two great editors.

Latino New Jersey: Histories, Communities and Politics

Proposal for a book of essays

Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago and Ulla Dalum Berg, editors

Since the 1890s, New Jersey has attracted hundreds of thousands of Caribbean and Latin American migrants. The state’s rich economic history has included a massive manufacturing base, the Port of NY/NJ, strong agricultural production, food processing, high income suburbs, commodities warehousing and distribution centers and complex commercial/supply networks have all contributed to attracting Latino immigrants and secondary step migrants from New York City. The state’s strong unions, public sector, and educational institutions have also played a role in attracting, retaining and setting the stage for its Latino population.

Cuban cigar workers settled in the state in the 1890s and Peruvians and other South Americans came to work in the Paterson textile mills beginning in the 1920s. Puerto Rican migrant workers found jobs in New Jersey’s farms, railroads, and chemical and food processing industries starting in the 1940s. Exiles from the Cuban revolution joined Puerto Ricans in the factories of Newark and Union City during the 1960s. Since the 1970s growing numbers of Dominicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, and Mexicans have migrated to New Jersey and brought the state’s Latino population to the national levels: 21% of the State’s population (the seventh largest state population in the US) now identifies as Hispanic or Latino.

New Jersey’s Latino population is as complex as that of other states, with large numbers of immigrants, including a sizable undocumented population, and a large second-generation population as well. Between the 1960s and 1980s, New Jersey was home to the second largest concentration of Cubans and Puerto Ricans in the nation. Since then the population has diversified in terms of national origins and generation. Between 1990 and 2019, the state has seen a dramatic increase in Latino demographics, from 1.2 million to 1.8 million.

Concentrated in majority Latino urban enclaves like Perth Amboy, Union City and North Bergen or in townships like New Brunswick and Dover, Latinos also live dispersed in small townships and suburbs like Fairview and Victory Gardens. Latinos form the majority of two counties and form 20-40% of the population of six other counties. Besides the national origin and ethnic distinctions, Latinos also are socioeconomically diverse, forming a large percentage of the state’s poorest population as well as a significant part of its upwardly mobile working and middle classes. The state is home to a large class of small and midsize merchants and industrialists serving the large Latino markets of PA to CT region.

Latino politics and policy in the state, however, have a younger history. During the 1960s and 1970s Latino politics were mostly a matter of community organizing and protest against systematic abuse and exclusion. In these years Puerto Rican and Cuban students left their mark with the creation of Puerto Rican and Latin American Studies at Rutgers’ Livingston College. Since the 1980s, however, Latinos have developed a more complex presence in the state’s politics. The emergence of Latino-dominant towns and cities and coalition politics facilitated the incorporation of a few Latino mayors, council persons and many social and community leaders, as well as the election of state-wide officers like US Senator Menendez.

Yet, despite this longstanding history and dense contemporary presence, the scholarly and popular literature on Latinos in New Jersey is limited and disperse. While scholarship on Latinos in other regions of the US has grown by leaps and bounds in the last three decades, there is not a single monograph or essay collection that focuses on Latinos in New Jersey.

This collection will bring together innovative scholarship from different disciplines and interdisciplinary fields of study and address topics including the demographic history of Latinos in the state, Latino migration from gateway cities to suburban towns, Latino urban enclaves, Latino economic and social mobility, Latino students and education, New Jersey Dream Act and in-state tuition act organizing, Latinos and criminal justice reform, Latino electoral politics and leadership, and undocumented communities.

Submission:

Interested contributors should submit:

• A detailed 2-3-page abstract that provides:

o Title

o Argument of the proposed chapter

o Sources and evidence

o Methodology and approach

o Relevance, importance, contextualization of proposed work

o Organization, sections

o Relevant core citations and references

• A 100-word summary of the proposed chapter

• A CV

• Materials and inquiries should be sent to alauria@lcs.rutgers.edu.

Structure of the book:

The book will include an introduction by Lauria-Santiago and Berg, 12-15 chapters, bibliography notes, statistical appendix, and index, for a total length of 300 pages. Essays may include illustrations or photographs.

The essays will be pitched for use in college courses and a general college-educated audience.

The chapters will be organized around three broad themes (subject to revision based on accepted submissions):

I. History and Migration

II. Communities and Social Life

III. Policy and Institutions

Dates and Deadlines:

• The call for abstracts (CFP) will go out December 1, 2019

• Potential authors will submit required chapter proposal documents: 1 February 2020

• Notification of acceptance/rejection or requested revisions to proposals will go out March 1, 2020

o Requested revisions to proposals will be due 15 March 2020

• Proposal to potential publishers based on accepted/revised abstracts will go out 1 April (or earlier)

• Full draft manuscripts will be due 1 December 2020 for internal review by editors

• Notification of acceptance and revisions will be sent to authors on 1 February 2021

o Requested revisions will be due 15 March 2021

• Final reviewed manuscript will be sent 1 April 2021 to publisher for external review.

The Editors:

Aldo Lauria-Santiago is a Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick (Department of Latino & Caribbean Studies and Department of History). His work has focused on the history of Puerto Ricans and Latinos in the US. He is co-author of Rethinking the Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights (Routledge 2018) and is completing three books on the history of Puerto Ricans in New York City and New Jersey. Before this he published two monographs and two edited collections on the history of Central America and the Caribbean.

Ulla D. Berg is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University and Director of the Rutgers Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS). A socio-cultural and visual anthropologist by training, her research and teaching focuses on transnational migration and (im)mobility in Latin America and among U.S. Latino populations. Berg is the author of Mobile Selves: Race, Migration, and Belonging in Peru and the U.S. (NYU Press, 2015) and co-editor of Transnational Citizenship Across the Americas (Routledge, 2014). Berg’s current research examines the effects of U.S. immigrant detention and deportation on migrant communities in Ecuador and Peru.

New Resource: Fairy Tales in Spanish

For anyone out there wanting to brush up on their Spanish (or other languages), this is a nice resource utilizing children’s stories… https://www.thefablecottage.com/spanish?fbclid=IwAR0awj3eZamyWVvQsqzuqTOyS6fYtZN3AGdo1p9krUFz_3IgYQI8rIR9d90

Fairy Tales in Spanish

RETOLD BY THE FABLE COTTAGE

Children’s stories translated into Spanish with optional English translation and slow audio from a native Spanish speaker. Great for kids… and adults too! Enjoy!

 

 

John Leguizamo Is Creating A New Latino Comic Book Superhero

Great article by Danielli for Mitú 

Colombian actor John Leguizamo is raising money to crowdsource an all-Latino produced comic book series featuring all Latino and Latina superheroes. Leguizamo says he “grew up loving comic books,” but he “knew that there was no white guy in tights like Superman coming to save my ass in my neighborhood,” so he’s creating a Latino superhero of his own. Leguizamo is partnering with Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, the artist who brought us bestselling superhero series “La Borinqueña” and is looking for more Latino artists, illustrators, producers and editors to join the team.

So far, the crowdsourcing project has raised $2k of the necessary $75k to get the project off the ground.

Meet PhenomX.

CREDIT: JOHN LEGUIZAMO / SEED AND SPARK

According to the crowdsourcing website, Seed and Spark, the premise of PhenomX’s story is that “Sometimes, when the powers that be knock you down, you have to transform and bring the system down with you.” Set in present-day New York City, PhenomX’s story begins with an illegal government project to “rehabilitate criminals” in an experimental drug trial that turns them into superpowers. Then, we meet Max Gomez who “is finally about to be released from prison with a second chance at life and fatherhood. But with growing concerns about re-entering the outside world as an ex-con, Max doesn’t know where to turn.”  An FBI agent offers Max an opportunity to capture the “failed experiments,” by giving him superpowers.

Still, Max “feels like a prisoner. Secrets are still being kept from him, and his target grows stronger every moment. Watch Max as he learns that he’s more than just a statistic… he’s more than just an ex-convict… he’s more than a phenomenon… he’s PhenomX.”

Leguizamo doesn’t want to wait for Hollywood. “Holly-wouldn’t,” he says.

CREDIT: JOHN LEGUIZAMO / SEED AND SPARK

“I want to share with you this new proposal. We’re going to be entrepreneurs together,” Leguizamo tells a camera stationed outside a Chicago theater just before Leguizamo’s “Latin History for Morons” performance. He’s incognito, “hence the glasses and the hoodie.” Leguizamo is asking us to invite our tías and tíos to contribute to the worthy cause. “I grew up loving comic books, Spiderman, Superman, The X-Men, Sub-Mariner, Thor, but there were no Latin people. What happened? We existed! Being Latin IS a superpower, y’all!” Leguizamo says. The entire project is going to be Latin-fueled. “It’s going to be written by me, a Latin guy, and colored and drawn and penciled by all Latin folks,” Leguizamo continued. “We’re going to have Latinas with superpowers. We’re not gonna wait for Hollywood. Holly wouldn’t. Hollywhite. Forget that. We’re doing it ourselves.”

Leguizamo hopes that PhenomX inspires young Latinos to see themselves as superheroes, too.

CREDIT: JOHN LEGUIZAMO / SEED AND SPARK

“In today’s world, it’s incredibly important to support Latin artists,” Leguizamo writes on Seed and Spark. “I hope to use this project to not only inspire the Latin youth community but also celebrate the contributions of Latin artists to the comic book world. There is a lack of Latin representation in Hollywood, and it’s important to showcase Latin superheroes. Now, you can help me by supporting this comic book series to inspire Latinx teens.”

Every single person who makes a contribution will score swag ranging from stickers to becoming a character in the story.

CREDIT: JOHN LEGUIZAMO / SEED AND SPARK

For $25, you automatically receive a digital copy of the first PhenomX comic book. A $75 donation earns you an autographed copy of one of the first PhenomX comic books. Donations of $1,000 or more earn you a slice of John’s favorite New York-style pizza with John Leguizamo himself (travel not included). “If you give super money, then, I’m going to draw a character that looks like you and name a character after you,” Leguizamo says of the highest $10k donation tier listed.

Leguizamo is the Renaissance Man we need right now.

CREDIT: JOHN LEGUIZAMO / SEED AND SPARK

Leguizamo was born July 22, 1964, in Bogotá, Colombia. He moved to Queens, New York when he was just four years old. He is known for his roles in Hangin’ with the Homeboys (1991), Romeo + Juliet (1996) and the voice of Sid in Ice Age (2002). Most recently, Leguizamo has introduced a Broadway play, “Latin History for Morons,” and now he’s dabbling in comic books. We don’t know what you can’t do, Leguizamo. His campaign has drawn in 37 donations totaling $2,033, averaging $55 per donation. Join in on the cause by donating here.

Ramiro Gomez Looks Into the Inner Lives of L.A.’s Laborers

A solid article from Liz Ohanesian for LA Mag

As Ramiro Gomez walks from his Lincoln Heights art studio to Charlie James Gallery in Chinatown, he stops to collect items he’ll incorporate into the installation he’s building: a Happy Meal box, an event flyer, a deflated balloon, an already-scratched lottery ticket. As part of his new show, Here, For a Moment, Gomez has turned the gallery’s basement into a sort of microcosm of Los Angeles (where he works) and West Hollywood (where he lives). The walls are covered with construction fence materials. There are orange traffic cones and a real estate sign. Gomez is bringing in cardboard figures, too, a nod to the street art that first put him in the public eye.

Before his work was hanging in galleries, Ramiro Gomez strategically placed cutout paintings of laborers around L.A.’s toniest neighborhoods. In his solo 2014 debut, Domestic Scenes, he riffed on several of David Hockney’s L.A. paintings by including domestic workers in scenes inside modern homes. Two years later his On Melrose show highlighted the labor along the famed avenue. Here, For a Moment, which opened at Charlie James on November 16, continues this dialogue with the issues that have always been represented in his work—as well as a lot of self-reflection.

View this post on Instagram

#hereforamoment @charliejamesgallery is now open. There are no words to adequately describe the emotions I felt on Saturday’s opening but incredibly grateful to all that attended or supported from afar. None of this could’ve been possible without Charlie’s Gallery team, Rachel, Rollin, Anna, Ever (@ever.a.k.a.thegirlabouttown) (@bunnie_gram) and everyone else that pitched in @joeparmer and the @caslosangeles Artisans, who stretched the beautiful canvases and came through with the incredible mounting of the large central Las Meninas Cardboard installation, my amazingly talented and dedicated assistant @sarah.e.stephens helping me put the long hours in the gallery for the site specific basement installation and the threaded trash bag mat under the Icarus figure, all while expecting a beautiful child of her own. To the ongoing moral and creative support from my friends, @corinnaejm @erinnnn16 @jc.nada @mlcornel @trophybehr @gusinblue @brm7809 @coatlicuefatale @papiuccino @gashizzle @doctordishes @whiskeylips_ @elrafaesparza @yosirey @brownskinhazel @pablospinktaco @juliosalgado83 @saldamando @patrick_martinez_studio @ra_sheed @theuhjeff @storylori @jimmingin @tweetermf @aaronibutler @doublewindsor @rashaunva @jen.dunlap @chriswmeyer85 @favyfav @lancesmithart @krystalrmrz @mikaylawhitmore @alishakerlin @unlvmuseum @taytertot914 @adamisaacebert @pmalvarado @matthewthawk @aznswimmer389 @morganology @issabatstang @incluso @thisisjorge @crimsonmays @maxwagner.94 @ganjausagi @kpbrockie My incredible sisters @sooperstar11 @roxygomez07 and all my family including @buttercupjess_ @mrsclintonpetty helping me through a tough year. To @ppowgallery and especially Charlie (@charliejamesgallery) for the continued trust and unwavering support of my ideas, helping uplift me and all of my gallery brothers and sisters. Finally, to my husband, @feldman75 giving me the foundation and helping with the day to day, ups and downs and twists and turns behind the scenes, talking ideas out with me that eventually become the paintings. Artshows like this are a team effort y’all 💗📸: @underwoodpictures

A post shared by ramirogomezjr (@ramirogomezjr) on

Among the more personal pieces in the show is a portrait of the artist’s grandmother, who helped raise him and died a decade ago. After her passing, Gomez dropped out of CalArts and got a job as a nanny. “That was my grieving process,” he says. “The nanny job itself was my way of coping with a lot of care that someone gave to me.” His work as a nanny also became the jumping-off point for his art career. “That was a tough experience and a learning curve but one that introduced me to the kind of world that L.A. sometimes doesn’t discuss, especially in cultural products,” he says. “It felt so disconnected, the culture not representing the very people that I saw.”

“It felt so disconnected, the culture not representing the very people that I saw.”

Gomez looks at modern issues like labor in the age of persistent wildfires and inside art institutions, but he also includes work that taps into the class divide that has long existed in the Southern California. In Ruido, he paints the Spanish word for noise on a wall in the landscape. That’s a direct reference to the late-1990s effort to ban gas leaf blowers led by the residents of some of the city’s most elite neighborhoods. Residents complained about noise, but gardeners relied on the devices to save time. In his research, Gomez found a Wall Street Journal article where actress Julie Newmar, TV’s Catwoman, admitted to spray-painting “Ruido” in an alley by her neighbor’s house in Brentwood.

In this series, Gomez draws upon his own life as well, including his identity as a queer man. “I grew up with a lot of guilt and specifically a lot of shame, being the first son, also the eldest son to a first-generation family,” he says. “Now that I’m older and exploring myself, I’m realizing more and more that I need to be true to me.”

He also looks at how detainment and deportation affects families in a work that was inspired by his uncle, who was deported late last year. Gomez is digging deeper into the lives of the people in his pieces as well. Sometimes I Dream of Flying Away features a man wearing Icarus-style wings. The figure is painted on a small cardboard cutout and placed inside an impeccably groomed landscape, where he appears to be floating away from a lawn mower.

“I’m very interested in this body of work to think about the internal struggles, the daydreams, the workers themselves being given some agency,” he says. “In some of my work in the past, they were just referenced as the gardener and not given any kind of individual ideas or thoughts.” In a particularly intriguing move, Gomez is also looking at labor and art. He uses references to abstract expressionism to make a statement about custodial work inside art institutions.

In one installation, he references his On Melrose series with paintings of the people responsible for keeping Paul Smith’s facade an Instagrammable shade of pink, including the store’s painter, Luna. Gomez has been thinking about how people perceive painters whose work appears in galleries and those whose work appears on buildings. For the installation, he includes pieces of cardboard used as a drop cloth when painting the beloved pink building.

“It’s meant to be discarded,” he says. “But, for me as an artist, I want people to observe this painter’s art with the backing on the back so that we can hang it.”

New Book: Latinx Ciné in the Twenty-First Century

Today’s Latinx motion pictures are built on the struggles—and victories—of prior decades. Earlier filmmakers threw open doors and cleared new paths for those of the twenty-first century to willfully reconstruct Latinx epics as well as the daily tragedies and triumphs of Latinx lives.

Twenty-first-century Latinx film offers much to celebrate, but as noted pop culture critic Frederick Luis Aldama writes, there’s still room to be purposefully critical. In Latinx Ciné in the Twenty-First Century contributors offer groundbreaking scholarship that does both, bringing together a comprehensive presentation of contemporary film and filmmakers from all corners of Latinx culture.

The book’s seven sections cover production techniques and evolving genres, profile those behind and in front of the camera, and explore the distribution and consumption of contemporary Latinx films. Chapters delve into issues that are timely, relevant, and influential, including representation or the lack thereof, identity and stereotypes, hybridity, immigration and detention, historical recuperation, and historical amnesia.

With its capacious range and depth of vision, this timeless volume of cutting-edge scholarship blazes new paths in understanding the full complexities of twenty-first century Latinx filmmaking.

Contributors
Contributors
Iván Eusebio Aguirre Darancou
Frederick Luis Aldama
Juan J. Alonzo
Lee Bebout
Debra A. Castillo
Nikolina Dobreva
Paul Espinosa
Mauricio Espinoza
Camilla Fojas
Rosa-Linda Fregoso
Desirée J. Garcia
Enrique García
Clarissa Goldsmith
Matthew David Goodwin
Monica Hanna
Sara Veronica Hinojos
Carlos Gabriel Kelly
Jennifer M. Lozano
Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez
J. V. Miranda
Valentina Montero Román
Danielle Alexis Orozco
Henry Puente
John D. “Rio” Riofrio
Richard T. Rodríguez
Ariana Ruiz
Samuale Saldívar III
Jorge Santos
Rebecca A. Sheehan

“An engaging collection that demonstrates both the advances Latinx filmmaking has made in the 2000s, and the acumen of the scholars who appraise them.”—Ryan Rashotte, author of Narco Cinema

“A unique volume with enormous range. [It] presents a stunning depth and variety of filmmakers and screen products from all corners of Latinx culture.”—María Acosta Cruz, author of Dream Nation

New Book: Reel Latinxs: Representation in U.S. Film and TV by Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González

Latinx representation in the popular imagination has infuriated and befuddled the Latinx community for decades. These misrepresentations and stereotypes soon became as American as apple pie. But these cardboard cutouts and examples of lazy storytelling could never embody the rich traditions and histories of Latinx peoples. Not seeing real Latinxs on TV and film reels as kids inspired the authors to dive deep into the world of mainstream television and film to uncover examples of representation, good and bad. The result: a riveting ride through televisual and celluloid reels that make up mainstream culture.

As pop culture experts Frederick Luis Aldama and Christopher González show, the way Latinx peoples have appeared and are still represented in mainstream TV and film narratives is as frustrating as it is illuminating. Stereotypes such as drug lords, petty criminals, buffoons, and sexed-up lovers have filled both small and silver screens—and the minds of the public. Aldama and González blaze new paths through Latinx cultural phenomena that disrupt stereotypes, breathing complexity into real Latinx subjectivities and experiences. In this grand sleuthing sweep of Latinx representation in mainstream TV and film that continues to shape the imagination of U.S. society, these two Latinx pop culture authorities call us all to scholarly action.

“Smart and engaging, accessible and comprehensive, this is the best starting place to learn the history of Latinx representation in U.S. film and television. Indispensable!”—Charles Ramírez Berg, Joe M. Dealey, Sr. Professor in Media Studies at University of Texas at Austin

“When media representations remain problematic and often violent in their engagement with growing U.S. Latinx populations, Reel Latinxsoffers useful cartographies and thoughtful analyses, shedding light on the strengths and shortcomings in current visual and media culture. In engaging with questions of genre, body, gender, and race, this book provides a vital departing point for necessary conversations regarding Latinxs and media.”—Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado, Jarvis Thurston and Mona Van Duyn Professor in Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis

New Art Exhibit for those in the NY area

Dos Mestizx is pleased to present XicanX: New Visions at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center (The Clemente).

December 5th, 2019 – January 18th, 2020
Opening Reception: December 5th, 2019 7-9pm

XicanX: New Visions is a national exhibit including 11 contemporary artists whose work
is tied to social justice, storytelling of identity and experience, and a transcendence of
borders. The exhibit challenges previous and existing surveys of Chicano and Latin
American identity-based exhibitions. Exhibiting artists include Xavier Robles Armas,
Josie Del Castillo, Tanya Garcia, Erick Iniguez, Michael R. Leon, Celeste DeLuna Art,
Mark Anthony Martínez, Robert Martinez, Juan Ortiz, Gilda Posada, and Jesusa Marie
Vargas.
#XicanxNV

Dos Mestizx is a Xicanx art collective made up of Suzy González and Michael Menchaca, based in San Antonio, TX.
Exhibition logo and flyer designed by Feral Editions.

Call for Proposals: Grants for Recovering the US Hispanic Heritage Program / US Latino Digital Humanities (USLDH)

GRANTS-IN-AID

University of Houston

Recovering the US Hispanic Heritage Program / US Latino Digital Humanities (USLDH)

Call for Proposals

GRANTS-IN-AID funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The University of Houston US Latino Digital Humanities (USLDH) program is a digital scholarship/research undertaking to provide training and research on US Latino recovered materials. Proposals must draw from recovered primary and derivative sources produced by Latinas/os in what is now the United States, dating from the Colonial Period to 1980 (such as Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage collections, other repositories and/or the community).

The Grants-in-Aid program is designed to provide a stipend to scholars for research and development of digital scholarship in the form of a digital publication and/or a digital project. The grant covers any expense connected with research that will advance a project to the next stage or to a successful conclusion.

Scholars will have the opportunity to publish their digital scholarship on Arte Público Press’ inaugural APP Digital publication platform. See sample digital scholarship/research on the following sites: Reanimate, CUNY, University of Washington and Temple University Press.

Scholars at different stages of their careers (Academics, librarians, advanced graduate students, independent scholars, etc.) are encouraged to apply for a stipend of up to $7,500 for investigative work. Grantees are expected to budget for a 2-day trip to Houston for in-person training at Recovery. We welcome applications in one of the following areas:

  • Identification, location and recovery of any wide variety of historical documents and/or literary genres, including conventional literary prose and poetry, and such forms as letters, diaries, memoirs, testimonials, periodicals, historical records and written expressions of oral traditions, folklore and popular culture. Any documents that could prove relevant to the goals of the program will also be considered. The emphasis is on works by Mexican/Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Spanish, Central and South American and other Latina/o residents of what has become the United States, from the Colonial period to 1980.
  • We especially encourage projects highlighting US Latina voices.
  • Bibliographic compilations, indexing projects pertaining to any of the above. Compilation of reference works, e.g. bibliographic dictionaries, thematic datasets, linguistic corpus, etc.
  • Study of recovered primary source(s) for potential digital publication, including: text analysis, thematic dataset creation, visualization, etc.

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, project description (2-3 pages), proposed budget (include 2-day visit to Houston), CV and 2 letters of recommendation as a single PDF document via email to recovery@uh.edu by December 20, 2019.

Looking for more information? See here:

https://artepublicopress.com/recovery-program/grantsinaid/?fbclid=IwAR1si5h93y6QHse53qWZsvftPRXawi5omXUNag9lPfPjEz2P0Lo_dH_GO0g