Defend Puerto Rico
Current Exhibition

Defend Puerto Rico Exhibit 

On View: February 15, 2018 - June 9, 2018 

The Defend Puerto Rico exhibit explores the creative documentation and stories told through the Defend Puerto Rico transmedia project with a compilation of photography, video, design and immersive media. An exhibit experience that guides the audience through the past, current and future dialogue of Puerto Rican identity, culture, and diasporic relationships.

Curated By: Mikey Cordero, Defend Puerto Rico Co-Founder

Featuring: 

Media and Film By Mikey Cordero & Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi. 

Photography by Camille Rivera Díaz, Francisco Acevedo, Liz Cuadrado, Gabriel Garcia Gomez, Raul Colón, Miguel Angel, Feliciano Binet, Giovanny Colón Medina, Evan Moreno, María Elena Núñez, Joaquin Medina, Christian Rodríguez, Jorge Benitez, Jocelyn Ortiz, Angel Manuel Cruz Morales, Gabriela Ramos García, Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Mikey Cordero, Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Yeray Gómez Vélez, José Fernando Irizarry Montero, Vanessa Rodriguez, Erika Rodriguez.

With installation contributions from Adrian “Viajero” Roman, Edgardo Larregui Rodríguez, and Coco de Oro and la maraña.

 


CURATORIAL STATEMENT

In June of 2016, a group of Boricua filmmakers and artists from the Puerto Rican diaspora noted a gap in the stories coming from mainstream media outlets. Coverage of the economic crisis and the passing of the P.R.O.M.E.S.A bill lacked the diverse perspectives of the people of Puerto Rico. They failed to mention that the resistance was assembling and people were fighting back in creative and innovative ways. A perfect example of these initiatives was the collective of artists calling themselves “La Puerta” who repainted the iconic Puerto Rican flag door in Viejo San Juan from red, white and blue to black and white. Though this version of the flag quickly became the symbol of resistance to the ongoing crisis, U.S. mainstream media barely covered this story and many others like it. Setting out independently to tell these stories, the group of creatives decided to go to the island, and dedicated themselves to learning and documenting the issues affecting the people most directly. The Defend Puerto Rico project was born.

Through short-form storytelling in social media and other social networks, Defend PR has been sharing the narrative of Puerto Rican resilience and resistance all over the country. Using the 360º video format, audiences have been able to immerse themselves fully in the lived Puerto Rican experience. Through the #DefendPR hashtag, the Defend Puerto Rico project today amplifies the voices of marginalized communities and movements striving to cultivate their identity and live with dignity amidst crisis.

At its core, Defend PR as a transmedia project explores a deceptively simple question--How do we defend Puerto Rico? The answers are a complex exploration of how individuals identify Puerto Rico for themselves and also serves as a call to action to investigate and invest in that identity.

The Puerto Rican experience is complex. Its culture has been under constant attack for centuries. Within the last 100 years alone the people of the islands of Borikén have had their language suppressed, their flag outlawed, their women sterilized, and their movements for independence circumvented by massacre and torture. The mass exodus from the island in the 40s, 50s and 60s have created generational displacement leading to compromised cultural diffusion and identity struggles that are still prevalent today.

This exhibit explores the creative documentation and stories told through the Defend Puerto Rico transmedia project through a compilation of photography, video, design and immersive media. The Defend Puerto Rico project believes the power of storytelling is transformative and hopes that the stories presented in this immersive experience ignite a conversation that rebuilds, renews and justly recovers Puerto Rico for all Puerto Ricans on and outside of the island.

Mikey Cordero, Curator


EXHIBIT SPACE

A. Presente! A Foto Exhibit of Resistance and Vision (28 Photos) 12x12 & 16x20

A unique photo exhibition experience that brings together photographers from Puerto Rico and the Boricua Diaspora who have captured the current climate of resistance and what communities, artists, activists, students, farmers and changemakers are declaring as a NEW VISION for the future of Borikén. The images in this exhibition serve as a visual documentation of their voice and identity in the shadows of U.S. colonization and the current economic crisis.

Collaborators were asked: What does resistance look like and what does the vision for the future of Puerto Rico look like?

Featuring photography from:

Camille Rivera Díaz, Francisco Acevedo, Liz Cuadrado, Gabriel Garcia Gomez, Raul Colón, Miguel Angel, Feliciano Binet, Giovanny Colón Medina, Evan Moreno, María Elena Núñez, Joaquin Medina, Christian Rodríguez, Jorge Benitez, Jocelyn Ortiz, Angel Manuel Cruz Morales, Gabriela Ramos García, Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Mikey Cordero, Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Yeray Gómez Vélez, José Fernando Irizarry Montero, Vanessa Rodriguez, Erika Rodriguez.


B. The Defenders (60 pieces) Portraits & Quotes

A portrait installation series featuring the organizers, artists, activists and entrepreneurs from the communities featured in the Defend Puerto Rico Transmedia Project.

Photography by Mikey Cordero & Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi


C. Diseño en Resistencia

Wallpaper collage including photos of public art walls in Puerto Rico and political poster designs.


D. Rebuild Comerío

Post-Hurricane Maria Rebuilding Project from Coco de Oro and Defend Puerto Rico. Documentation photography of the Rebuild Comerío Project. Photography and Drone maps with an Installation by Adrian “Viajero” Roman

Presenting a community development model by La Maraña and Coco de Oro.


E. #DefendPR Screening Room

Curated Loop of Defend Puerto Rico Video Content

In the shadows of US colonization and economic crisis, Defend Puerto Rico tells the stories of its resilient people and their fight for their culture and identity. These are the narratives of the people and communities that have remained resilient and vigilant in creating true and new spaces of self-determination and dignity.


F. Interactive Space

360° Video and Augmented Reality Experiences - Beaches for the People - Premiere (360º Video Installation)

 


This exhibition is made possible with the generous support of New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito [FY18], New York State Council on the Arts, Taino Towers- El Barrio Fuerte, Postive Workforce, Bronx Lebanon, and the Lingo Foundation. 

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