I am a Queens born and bred Nuyorican mami media maker. I use the word mami to encompass not just my role as the primary caregiver to two ChileRican daughters but my place as a Latin@ luchadora with a proud puta streak. I use the word media maker because daily I communicate who I am, what I represent and believe, and what I want to see in the world to others. I do that through my work as freelance writer, blogger, poet, educator, performance artist, and activist.
I was lucky enough to spend last Tuesday evening at the University of Southern California participating in the latest leg of make/shift magazine’s recLAmation tour. This is my second time performing in Los Angeles and it was no less magical than the first. Hilary Goldberg, around whose film, recLAmation, the tour is built around and Jessica Hoffmann, one of the editors and founders of make/shift magazine, both have a special gift when it comes to curating and bringing together writers, poets, and performers. Everyone is so different from one another, not just in style and delivery, but also in experience and background. Yet every piece of the tour seems to fit together representing the complicated landscape of feminism(s).
I was especially excited about my participation because of some of my fellow performers/participants. I am blessed to have shared space with Fabiola Sandoval before, but at this event she strayed from reading from her deeply personal poetry. Instead brought the audience a live conversation with a local resident discussing the controversial USC Master Plan and it’s possible impact on surrounding communities.
I was grateful to be able to see a portion of Hilary Goldberg’s film recLAmation again. Even though I have seen the full film and seen snippets of it, heard Hilary’s narration of it multiple times, each time I always see or hear something new about Los Angeles and a reimagined future that extends beyond it’s boundaries.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, her poetry and her voice have shared audiences with me many times but this time, at USC’s Ground Zero Performance Cafe, we were all lucky enough to have Lex live to share her heartbreaking/awakening reminder of what real promises among herman@s look, sound and feel like.
I was especially looking forward to witnessing the work of both Irina Contreras and Byron Jose. We have crossed personal and professional paths many times before. Last year I interviewed Irina and Nico Dacumos for VivirLatino regarding their Scenes Unseen project but I had never seen either Irina nor Byron perform. Both of their pieces dealt with issues of space, occupation vs. decolonization, and who gets to tell a story and how that who impacts the narrative.
I know I enjoyed sharing space with everyone. It was challenging in multiple ways and i look forward to doing it again soon.
Please check out video from my own performance here