Posts in refugees
CODA XX | A Sea of Tears and a Revolution Part IV, Vernacular
Battery Park, September 20, 2019

Battery Park, September 20, 2019

Dedicated to artists, asylum seekers all across the globe, and Puerto Rico

Part One: A Sea of Tears and a Revolution here

Part Two: Daughters and Sons here

Part Three: Diaspora here.

Part Four: Vernacular

There is something poetic about Friday, September 20, 2019. Who could have predicted that two years after Hurricane María, a climate strike would take place all over the world with #FridaysforFuture led by Greta Thunberg. Her story, her clarity, and poise are magnificent. Her demands are clear. Her purpose has ignited a youth-led global climate movement that is now unstoppable. What better way to spend the anniversary date than for climate justice? 

The memories of all that has occurred since María are present. I do not think there has been a day since the hurricane I have not thought about the storm. It is always in the front or back of my thoughts. But the strike brought a new hue to the many feelings I have about everything that has occurred since then. For one, Greta is right. Climate change and catastrophes will reshape the course of humanity if we do not act.

In just two years, numerous hurricanes have passed through the Atlantic ravaging areas in the coast and the Caribbean, the most recent one, the cruel Hurricane Dorian. My friend Ned reminds me that the worst part of any hurricane, no matter how bad and that in itself is terrible, is what comes after. An after seems to have no end.

Unfortunately, as we all know the aftermath of storms disproportionately hits poor people and disadvantaged communities the hardest The suffering and the people are real. I met many tears from the aftermath of María. I saw and experienced it in New York City. iThe stories came my way by chance through my place of work, Eugenio María de Hostos Community College. The Hostos became a partner of “The Bronx Coalition Supporting Hurricane Maria Evacuees” alongside numerous other agencies and groups mentioned in Part One. The Coalition led the organizing of a welcome fair to support displaced newly arrived families from Puerto Rico that took place at the College on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Before and after the welcome fair other community events took place at Hostos that brought families together through DiasporaXPuertoRico, UPROSE, and Julio Pabón. The months of April, May, and June were critical months for displaced Puerto Rican families living in hotels under the FEMA program. And a lot of people knew it and advocated for them from the legislative to the grassroots level.

UPROSE/#OurPowerNYCPR held a community meeting at the College in late March or early April of 2018. Marta Moreno Vega and Elizabeth Yeampierre spoke powerfully and in truth. Marta took her the time before speaking and then in pure freedom fighter form she went, “Are you seeing how they’re treating our people? Right now we’re going to listen to this sister, and we are going to help her and the rest. We are a community, and we are not going to let our brothers and sisters fall.” Marta was right. A terrible thing was unfolding right before our eyes. She introduced a young woman who had just been told she had to leave the hotel. For no apparent reason and all of a sudden, she had nowhere else to go. Later I found out this young woman had lost her husband the year before in Puerto Rico to gun violence. She was inconsolable as she stood there telling us of her experience in the big city. Her share and tears brought everyone to tears. And at that moment I saw it, the fiber and fabric of the Puerto Rican history weaving more stories into the web of the blood and tears from both here and there. Another story of the past 100 years, here it was before our very eyes. We understood all to well they were facing discrimination, misinformation, and isolation as they dealt with trauma. By the end of the meeting, a protest would get organized to claim for among other things an extension for Puerto Rican families facing evection from the temporary assistance FEMA program in New York City and across the nation. The protest took place on April 19, 2018, in front of City Hall. 

It was during those gatherings I met displaced families of Hurricane María. I learned of a mother who came to New York with an 11-year old son learning to live with a severe physical disability. Back in Puerto Rico, a stray bullet hit the boy at age nine and left him injured for life. Doctors replaced the wheelchair he received at the time of the accident on December 2018. One young woman arrived with her daughter and her bed-ridden mother, who has Alzheimer's. She lost everything. Another sister came to the city with her bed-ridden mother suffering from dementia and her cognitive disabled brother. Another woman, a single mother of three, lost her home and her job, both wipeout by the storm. They had nowhere to turn and decided to take a chance outside. Another single-mother woman lost her home and was trapped living in it and, in her mountain block blocked off from aid for a while enough, she almost died. She left the island to save her daughter and herself.

Then there was the grandmother figure in Dona Margarita. She fed as many people as she could wherever she lived. She and others cooked on the rogue, on a single burner and made feasts. Unable to get medical attention in rural Puerto Rico after the storm, this older adult left Puerto Rico to care for be a broken arm. She wanted to stay, but it was not meant to be. Then, there was the woman who shared that she and her husband and their two children lost everything-jobs, house, schools. After several months they decided to leave. She was pure jíbara beauty, innocence, and goodness. She went on to say she was waiting on a call for a job at a supermarket and then she asked me, ¿Sol, por dónde empiezo? (Sol, where do I start?).  

From then on, I did not turn my back. From a corner of the Bronx I did as much as I could to help and be of support. I could see how much the people of Puerto Rico had been left unattended. And, not just from hurricane María, but for years, and years, and years. It was painful to see the loneliness, the rude awakening, the miseducation, the vulnerability. This was not something I was reading about in the news. I was seeing and listening in the flesh. We had the same problems. We suffered over the same things, aging parents, troubled family members, and lost dreams. I recognized my country and myself in the women, men, and children I met from Puerto Rico. The ability to speak our Puerto Rican vernacular helped. Right there, we met each other in a place not perceivable to the naked eye, a place of understanding in cadence. From that place, I heard their stories, their histories, loved ones, problems, just making it, barely making it, or not making it at all. I looked them in the eye, saw their pain, anguish, desolation, fear, uncertainty, shame, grief. I ate, watched tv, cried, talked history and context with them; and, I did not hide the truths about what they would be facing in this country. 

Seeing puertorriqueños living in the hotels was very painful, disturbing, and utter destitution. Somehow through that critical transition time and a network of friends and work colleagues, a good crew of displaced families received baby diapers, wipes, and menstrual cycle items. The transition meant choosing to stay in the city and the homeless shelter system or going back to the island with a plane ticket paid by FEMA. The last day to stay or go was June 30, 2018. Different families made different choices, some families stayed, some went back to the island, and others went elsewhere. I met goodness in those hotels, more than my words can describe right at this time. It was not a rosy road, but it was worth it. And I learned that the suffering of the Puerto Rican people is one pain. We simply do not know it at the same time. We got there this summer during the revolution. Here and there and everywhere los puertorriqueños were furious, as we should be, still. But I will end here. This is all I have for the second anniversary of Hurricane María. 

For all the climate refugees unite behind the science.

Sol

NFAND | September
#FridaysforFuture

#FridaysforFuture

Government leaders are failing the world. From nuclear warfare to drone strikes in Yemen to white supremacists gaining power to the Amazon burning to family separation to climate denial, the mighty, rich, and fancy are killing us, the people all across the lands. Seriously, there’s nothing more real than that right now. There’s so much going on it’s hard to pin it all down but, little gestures are happening all around and those gestures are the light in the tunnel.


1 2 3 Andrés has a benefit today to immigrants and families stay together. Crimes against humanity I say is what’s happening at our doorsteps. There is another way and the work of many noble people make that clear. If you can’t attend the benefit, give something, any little amount counts. Link here. Actions for families belong together are happening all over all the time.


Greta Thunberg sailed the Atlantic to make a point. To me, her journey was the grandest gesture. Following Team Malizia has been a life highlight and I’m grateful it happened this year, one of the most painful I’ve experienced. But Greta, in her innocence is mighty strong and she’s trying to make us all understand that the earth is in crisis. We, the people are in danger. Really. She’s asking all of us to join. So join the global strike on September 20. Read here for more information.

Last week some people asked me why I shared the video of “Manta Ray” the song by J. Ralph and Anohni. My response is that, not only is the video a beauty, but “Manta Ray” is the title song for “Racing Extinction,” the documentary, and that’s where we are, at the precipice of something that we are not going to like at all. So the song was added because I thought it matched the intention of Greta’s journey.

What I forgot to include was the lesson plan for #myoceanchallenge (see attachment). Malizia II is also a science lab! Amazing. Check out Team-Malizia.com to read about the work.

Then, two days after #FridaysforFuture/Global Climate Strike, the Silent Procession for Puerto Rico. I will walk not only for Puerto Rico but for all the people in the world who are at the mercy of the merciless.

Live long and prosper,

Sol

NFAND CODA | Team Malizia
™ pzimgtwo.png

Greta Thunberg is traveling in an emission-free high-speed sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean while the tragedy of the burning Amazon rainforest unfolds.

She is coming to North and South America to speak at forums like the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York and COPS25 in Santiago, Chile. 

Her uncompromising journey must stand as one the bravest and kindest acts of leadership that we know of today. With her on board, four brave souls-her father, Svante Thunberg, filmmaker Nathan Grossman, Skipper Boris Herrmann, and Team Founder Pierre Casiraghi.


The ocean knows

Things

Engine clean

Sunlight

Wind

And purity

Bravery

“Safe travels queen”


Godspeed

Malizia

Sail fast and steady

in the boundless ocean

Ahead you sail

With five brave souls

#myoceanchallenge

Around the globe glides the sly one.


The song “Manta Ray” from Race to Extinction | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1JiJhWkM9M

Team Malizia | Read skipper’s statement

NFAND Tere Martínez Repost CODA XVIIII A Sea of Tears and a Revolution Part III, Diaspora
From around the web and  asambleas de pueblo.

From around the web and asambleas de pueblo.

The diasporas I know and see, like all suffering diasporas living in the United States of today and most always, have their hearts divided into parts. Every case is different of course, in Puerto Rico’s case the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship have coined a well-etched impasse of heads or tales. Each side drilled from layers of fractured prisms. Someone I love and respect reminds me constantly in conversation that the careless toss is called, gaslighted

So much has been kept from us, the people of Puerto Rico. Piecing it together will require asambleas de pueblo and all our love and valor. I see what is happening in Puerto Rico today and it gives me hope that we will get to have a chance to learn our lost past and see ourselves anew. But, against what is happening in this country today, I wonder about everything and, I sometimes think that it might just be us that will need to leave. From over here, what I have come to learn is that as whole la diaspora has been instrumental in keeping Puerto Rican history and culture alive. The many pioneers that paid the way for a better way for others are mostly unsung heroes in Puerto Rico and here in the mainland. The poets, the writers, historians, dramaturges, actors, musicians, dancers, and institution makers have done so much for the history and preservation of Puerto Rico it is something.

For today’s times, there is also Tere Martínez and her Roots and Action project-beautiful and impressive. Please visit the site and learn about the work. They are “building community,” that’s in one of Tere’s moving and beautifully written blogs. Roots and Action add itself to works that aspire to be as whole, encompassing, and empowering as ASPIRA was when it first opened its doors. 

On Wednesday, August 21 the Roots and Action team, Tere Martinez, Barbara Vlahides, Janio Marrero, and Sarah Hoiland are having a fundraiser event at M1-5 Lounge down in Walker St. from 5 to 8 pm. Tere, Sarah, and I are connected through Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College (Hostos). EVITE: Roots and Action Happy Hour Fundraiser for Puerto Rico

What I wrote about Tere Martínez and Hostos back in April of 2017, before María, when we recorded for the Hostos Oral Collective stands today.

S.

CODA XVIII A Sea of Tears and a Revolution Part II, Daughters and Sons
July 2019 from across the net

July 2019 from across the net

PART II-Daughters and Sons

(A Sea of Tears and a Revolution | Part One: Citizen)  | Dedicated to artists, asylum seekers all across the globe, and Puerto Rico

 Daughters and sons of la diaspora come in all forms. It is perhaps reason number one I love New York City. The place where we, “the others,” from all corners of the world and types of backgrounds, have a chance to meet as equals. I really appreciate that, the essence of the lesson.

 On June 4, 2019 | Democracy Now! featured Damning Canadian Inquiry Calls the Murder and Disappearance of Indigenous Women & Girls Genocide. The words of First Nations jurist in British Columbia, serving as Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Marion Buller apply also to the entire Northern, Central, Southern, American Continent.

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/6/4/murders_of_indigenous_women_in_canada

 “…The genocide that has occurred in Canada has been over generations of people—generations of human rights and indigenous rights violations; deliberate underfunding of services and programs to indigenous people; forcibly removing children from their families, children being removed and never being seen again by their own families, by their own communities; forced sterilization of women and girls. The list goes on. But from our perspective and from the legal definition, genocide can be over a long period of time of deliberate state action, that looks different from what we commonly think of as genocide. But it is genocide, legally, nonetheless.” 

 The admittance of genocide and the call-to-action for reparations for women and girls by the Canadian government resonated with me. 

 Lately, a lot has been written about violence against women in Puerto Rico and the women leading the fight. Since the chat, the people now know the aftermath of Hurricane María is a certifiable matter of crimes against humanity of holocaust proportions. 

 I thought about Edwin Miranda’s words, I saw the future it’s so wonderful, there are no Puerto Ricans.

 If it's true for Canada, then same awful truths and precepts as in the United States of conquest, genocide, rape, slavery, empire building, torture, subjugation, building upon sadness the road ahead for more by exploitation apply to us, la (s) diaspora (s). 

 “And so it has come to pass, it is indeed where we hang, this very premise falls on all of us to look at. It reflects the worst type of shine, the one we have never wanted to look at and the one that might just bring us down, the one where brother to brother kills himself and the one where the mighty nation kills us all out of fear from being disappeared.”

James Baldwin

I've been reading a lot, listening to a lot of radio, and watching a lot of videos from and about Puerto Rico. I picked up some stuff for your reference:



Alvin R Couto de Jesus | FB

Apoyemos a que se los 78 municipios de Puerto Rico logren convocar asambleas de pueblo. | Let's support Puerto Rico and in achieving town assemblies in all 78 municipalities.

This guy is something and posting really interesting commentary. You can follow his feed if you are on FB.


AUGUST 9, 2019 | WNYC On the Media
In Puerto Rico, What Comes Next?

By Alana Casanova-Burgess

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/puerto-rico-what-comes-next?fbclid=IwAR3x8AYXLI3A9tJ9OqmgEKjCquWfzKx3Wgk9gN6A3srqkq1o32kr2MMvyTw

This is a great piece that captures the past month beautifully-really beautifully.

AUGUST 9, 2019 | Shondaland

Meet the Women Leading Puerto Rico's Feminist Revolution

By Sandra Guzmán

https://www.shondaland.com/live/a28653844/puerto-rico-protests-feminist-revolution/?fbclid=IwAR05-GFH1o5WGYPPn6FS2l_yia7BXnDZiS93rPim7tzfzE-S2g32AyTXUnw

I'm biased about Sandra because she's one of my closest sisters. She's fierce, a truthteller, and she's been busy writing some really important pieces. They are all included in this list.

9 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | El País

La trama feminista y queer en Puerto Rico

Por Luci Cavallero y Verónica Gago

https://www.pagina12.com.ar/210857-la-trama-feminista-y-queer-en-puerto-rico?fbclid=IwAR0GwVAoig6Uk1qZVkLPOHsjJ_OaEX9OuRzYNWwP6zmB9HZ26QZzeMHjeEU

Watch all three of Karla Claudio Betancourt’s shorts. Tremendo artículo.

8 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | WALO HD

La Kakistocracia PNP vs. #WanditaLaMala

Nación Chancleta

Very good and important show to listen. In Spanish. Walo is brilliant. He has the dark humor truthteller shtick down in true Puerto Rican slang-Class A. This particular show is a must-listen. You can follow him on FB, YouTube, iHeartRadio.

AUGUST 7, 2019 | Dissent Magazine

Puerto Rico Remade

By Frances Negrón-Muntaner

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/puerto-rico-remade

Frances is another fierce mind and a sister. She is amazing. Balanced, tempered, a soul of profound understanding.

AUGUST 6, 2019 | NBC THINK

Toni Morrison was America's conscience, one that's needed more than ever

By Sandra Guzman

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/toni-morrison-was-america-s-conscience-one-s-needed-more-ncna1039766?fbclid=IwAR2dlIZONiWuB_rXv4sgdXZA2rYyB5HvQOKCFzqV5i7JYLqe2RiIOTbnIIE


6 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | CNN Español

Este Otro Puerto Rico Parte I

Por Silverio Pérez

https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2019/08/05/este-otro-puerto-rico-primera-parte/?fbclid=IwAR1iOp6PFhJOyW9lO57qSyyQnavg4HoEt1abrWFdYQAgvS3rRRjX2NAHosw


6 DE AGOSTO DE 2019 | CNN Español

Este otro Puerto Rico (Segunda Parte)

Por Silverio Pérez

https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2019/08/05/este-otro-puerto-rico-segunda-parte-opinion-silverio-perez/

Silverio Peréz is a genius and a national glory-a Class-A wordsmith. Follow him on FB. These two stories are important.

AUGUST 5, 2019 | Bustle

Women & Femmes Leading The Puerto Rico Protests On Their "Permanent Revolution"

By Raquel Reichard

https://www.bustle.com/p/women-femmes-leading-the-puerto-rico-protests-on-their-permanent-revolution-18544005

A MUST READ. A BEAUTY.

AUGUST 5, 2019 | LatinoUSA

Puerto Rico Is A Presidential Issue That Must Be Addressed

By SANDRA GUZMÁN

https://www.latinousa.org/2019/08/05/prdebates/


AUGUST 5, 2019 | NYT

The Puerto Rico Governor Started 3 Days Ago. But His Future Is Already in Doubt.

By Edmy Ayala and Patricia Mazzei

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/us/puerto-rico-governor.html?fbclid=IwAR3naQt2VGzfQPw-xCQB3UyrorD8p4V0WQ4O0WJxgurbsl6fKp1KOmLVD8I

The New York Times has covered really nicely. This is one of them pieces I liked. Other follow down below.

AUGUST 5, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

The Political Future of Puerto Rico

with guests Michael Deibert and Yarimar Bonilla

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/political-future-puerto-rico


AUGUST 3, 2019 | Truthout

Rejecting Politics of Fear, Marginalized Puerto Ricans Led the Uprising

By Oscar Oliver-Didier

https://truthout.org/articles/rejecting-politics-of-fear-marginalized-puerto-ricans-led-the-uprising/


AUGUST 3, 2019 | NYT

After Protests, Will Real Change Come to Puerto Rico?

By Frances Robles and Patricia Mazzei

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/03/us/puerto-rico-future.html


AUGUST 2, 2019 | LatinoUSA - podcast

Why Ricky Resigned

https://www.latinousa.org/2019/08/02/whyrickyresigned/


AUGUST 2, 2019 | MTV

Meet the Women Who Toppled Puerto Rico’s Governor

By Yarimar Bonilla

http://www.mtv.com/news/3133648/women-puerto-rico-governor-rossello/?fb_ref=fbshare_web&fbclid=IwAR2gYxe9D8TLs4QxYWCxe_zlxAap_EJPSfokZY70EOCp1E0A4tojQ3aZTM8


AGOSTO 2, 2019 | 80Grados

Verano 2019: balances y perspectivas

Por Rafael Bernabe y Manuel Rodríguez Banchs

https://www.80grados.net/verano-2019-balances-y-perspectivas/


JULY 31, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

How the Political Crisis in Puerto Rico is Unifying the Puerto Rican Diaspora

with guests Caridad De La Luz, Andrew Padilla, and Samy Nemir Olivares

https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/political-crisis-puerto-rico-unifying-puerto-rican-diaspora

Thank you for Tanzina Vega, that's all I have to say.

JULY 30, 2019 | The Hill

After Rosselló, Puerto Rico needs democracy — not a 'recovery czar’

By Ariadna M. Godreau-Aubert

https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/455344-after-rossello-puerto-rico-needs-democracy-not-a-recovery-czar


JULY 29, 2019 | Washington Post

What’s next for Puerto Rico? A reckoning with its colonial status.

By Julio Ricardo Varela

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/07/29/whats-next-puerto-rico-reckoning-with-its-colonial-status/


JULY 27, 2019 | NYT 

Did Puerto Rican Police Go Too Far During Protests? What the Video Shows.

By Evan Hill and Ainara Tiefenthäler

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/27/us/puerto-rico-violence-protests.html?fbclid=IwAR0eiyRsPLvdW1BDNZ3meUDDhUbVmZHrBMcOpKWhOUbxfISH5gqB4BgF-l8


JULY 26, 2019 | NYT

By Charo Henríquez

Cantar, bucear, perrear y rezar: las protestas creativas en Puerto Rico

https://www.nytimes.com/es/2019/07/26/protestas-creativas-puerto-rico/?fbclid=IwAR1vChu42vi1eYexZ-it1cM0VLx5fzFkghzyLdl5WxQKlpaOltq_xWvcxkI

JULY 25, 2019 | WNYC The Takeaway Host Tanzina Vega

'The People Have Spoken': Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Resigns

with guests David Begnaud, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Bianca Padró Ocasio

JULY 23, 2019 | BBC

Massive protests held in Puerto Rico after governor refuses to step down

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49075683?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cg41ylwvw3gt/puerto-rico&link_location=live-reporting-story

+

https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cg41ylwvw3gt/puerto-rico 

(BCC’s full list of stories on the island)


JULY 20, 2019 | CNN

Women in Puerto Rico know all too well why Rossello must resign

By Sandra Guzman

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/20/opinions/women-in-puerto-rico-know-why-rossello-must-resign-guzman/index.html


JULY 19, 2019 | Counterpunch

It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.

by MIGUEL A. CRUZ-DÍAZ

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/19/it-was-never-just-about-the-chat-ruminations-on-a-puerto-rican-revolution/

Backstory: https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/22/the-takeover-of-puerto-rico/

Miguel is super witty and nails the description of some very fine and important points.

JULY 18, 2019 | NYT

Puerto Ricans in Protests Say They’ve Had Enough

By Patricia Mazzei and Frances Robles

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/18/us/puerto-rico-rossello-governor-protests.html


JULY  18, 2019 | Reuters

More Puerto Rico protests planned as governor resists calls to resign

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-idUSKCN1UD31Z


JULY 13, 2019 | Mother Jones

As Puerto Rico’s Governor Steps Down, a Protest Organizer Is Determined to Not Let “The People’s Fire Burn Out.”

By Justine Agrelo

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/07/as-puerto-ricos-governor-steps-down-a-protest-organizer-is-determined-to-not-let-the-peoples-fire-burn-out/


JULIO 28, 2019 | 80 Grados

Por José Nicolás Medina Fuentes

Congreso del pueblo y asamblea constitucional convocada desde la sociedad civil

https://www.80grados.net/congreso-del-pueblo-y-asamblea-constitucional-convocada-desde-la-sociedad-civil/?fbclid=IwAR1ijNYaiKzO-DlRCZmUnG73SrmuI_5rGIsgmUse19yzCBGW7P-ZJ5C1RBo

80Grados is fierce. I love this piece so much. Una belleza. It captures some essential sentiments that should be talked about more. Some commentators point out they missed including the freedom fighters from el PIP and previous eras, but nonetheless, the piece offers some important anchors. And it is beautifully written in Spanish.

CODA XVI: LLP (from April 21, 2019)
“After María” description.

“After María” description.

(First shared on private list serve on April 21, 2019) CODAS are becoming my thing. I’m in a new rhythm for sure. Go back to my last share, CODA XV for reference. I’m swimming new waves, and I don’t want to exploit myself, as I know how to do. Ja! I will be around but will come in-and-out with less rigidity on Sundays. I’m gonna' take it easy and steady and change some things. I don’t want to get dark on the state of the world on Easter Sunday, so I leave with a follow up on After María.

Playing in Shorts: No Short Cuts at TFF After Maria premieres next Sunday, April 28, 2019. Visit the page for times and screenings.

Nadia Hallgren, Lauren Cioffi and I met in a natural way. I’m still piecing my words on what the year 2018 delivered. I can honestly say I wanted so much for this story to be told. Several hurdles later the chance just came to be. And, this is just a peek of a much larger tentacle circumstance. For now, I’m grateful for living the experience with Nadia and Cioffi. Grateful too for the “community organizer” credit. And, thankful for Glenda, Kenia, and Sheila. They remain brave here in the City.

Jesus Lives.

Sol

By Chaliana

By Chaliana

CODA VX: A curveball and "After Maria" (from March 31, 2019)
my families.jpg

(First published Sunday, March 31, 2019) My schedule and usual rhythm and flow are off since the year began pretty much because my mother has been struggling with her health. I don’t want to get into the details of it all but it’s serious enough and things are different. The curveball has thrown me off a bit, though I appreciate that it’s giving me time to reflect. And, I thought back to mom’s in-and-out of hospital track since Hurricane María and it’s been about 10 times, a couple of stays for over a month each. I wonder...that brings me to, “After Maria.”

“After Maria” is a short doc by the amazing Nadia Hallgren that will premiere at Tribeca Film Festival on April 28. Here her IG post: Excited to announce my new documentary short @tribecafilmfestival 🇵🇷After Maria 🇵🇷 world premiere on 4/28! Watch what happens when 3 Puerto Rican mothers who are forced to leave the island after hurricane Maria meet in a FEMA hotel in the Bronx. They bond like family and seek stability in their new life as forces try to pull them apart. Produced by @lacioffi Executive producer @rogerrosswilliams edited by @helekearns @jarthster consulting editor @jeantsien @salacuse

I can’t succinctly explain it all, but 2018 was an adventure and the making of this documentary was very much a part of it. So much happened after Maria it’s hard to capture it all, but this work is a tiny peek into what happened after the hurricane to displaced families in New York. Many of them still displaced and living under the NYC Department of Homeless Services temporary shelter housing. Stay tuned for more, because more is coming for “After Maria.”

My last share, CODA XIV the fallen men, was dark and about the future of the University of Puerto Rico. One of the articles I shared was a fiction piece meant to be a worst-case-scenario essay. The worst case scenario is that if the Middle States Commission on Higher Education “flunks” the UPR, then things can turn. I read more and more and see this whole UPR debacle as one of those institutions that could or just might eventually erode. Being that the UPR is an integral part of the livelihood of the island, it is worth any one’s time to read about what is going on. But, the fact remains that between La Junta’s draconian cuts, political pundits, and poor administration, the future of the university is indeed uncertain, and that is a terribly sad thing.

The world as a whole is drowning because of so much ignorance. There’s money for war but not much else…and it shows.

Free Chelsea Manning

Free Papa Renty

Be good to people,
Sol

NFAND CODA Episode 119 | Alex Rodriguez, artist, writer, sound engineer
Alex Rodríguez

Alex Rodríguez

Alex Rodriguez, producer and emcee:

This conversation was recorded between Howard Jordan (professor, activist, journalist, and lawyer) and Alex Rodríguez a couple of years ago. Jordan was and continues to be the Chair of the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department at Hostos Community College and Alex was enrolled in the Sound Engineering program. Today, Alex works at the Hostos Sound Studio and the rhythm of this share is as real as it comes. A South Bronx native, Alex is lyricist, an emcee, producer, and a full artist at heart. 

Jordan asks and each time Alex goes at it with sincere aplomb and a whole hearted explanation. He fills the gaps with context and personal history and makes his surroundings palpable with word. I’ve been thinking of him for several weeks, his cadence, the hoarseness/softness speed of his voice, and the crux of it-the why of the spoken word, its power and confusion, resonance and displacement, history and the story, tales of souls left heartless and beloved by others. The rest is ignorance and here’s a voice.

Sol

CODA XII: Photo gallery | book week in Puerto Rico

Here CODA XII: Gallery of photos | Book week in Puerto Rico.

There’s something about sincere closeness, familial love, and streets you know that simply linger. 

Sit, breathe, and wait a bit. Take your thoughts and imagine yourself abruptly being taken by the ankles as you become a pendulum swinging side-to-side with force. You surrender to the sway. It begins to slow down until the swinging comes to a full soft stop. You drop to a body of water. When you come up for air some of those people and streets, the closeness, are out there and its safe again. That was Puerto Rico last week.

A bounty of grace and love.