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Archival Giclee Print, approx
Mixed Media on Canvas
48" x 30"
Collection of The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, CUNY
Raising Revolution, my portrait of Don Pedro Albizu Campos in his army
uniform, speaks to how the Puerto Rican liberation movement, and others,
have subverted US institutions--or rather the institutions of the colonizer--for
their benefit. As seen in this portrait of Don Pedro, who served as an
Army lieutenant, in 1917 The Jones Act involuntarily made Puerto Ricans
citizens of the United States, enabling their draft into WWI which the
US entered that same year. Don Pedro's experience within the segregated
army soured his views on the US. Becoming a revolutionary, aggressively
opposing US imperialism, one of the things he studied was military strategy.
And speaking of studying, the same Law Degree that he used to defend himself
and the other Nationalists against charges of sedition was obtained at
none other than Harvard University, where Albizu excelled as a student,
served on the debate team and was proficient in 7 different languages.
Another Harvard alum, depicted in this painting is Machetero/ Freedom
Fighter Juan Segarra Palmer. Along these lines, also featured in this
work are Victor Gerena, who also served in the US armed forces, most known
for his involvement in the Wells Fargo Robbery and for being at the top
of the FBI's Most Wanted list ever since. Also included are images of
Fidel Castro, a lawyer like Albizu who came to New York to generate support
for his 1959 revolution in Cuba, but later kicked the Americans out of
his island. Another familiar face is that of Che Guevara who gave up his
comfortable lifestyle as a physician to spread revolution throughout the
Americas and in Africa. Basically all the images/ text featured deal with
revolutionaries and freedom fighters and the oppressive institutions that
fuel the fire of their struggle.
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Yasmin Hernandez. Under no circumstances should any of the images or content
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