News

  • Podcast with Las Comadres

     

     

    The world is good when you have friends like these two.

    Check out this podcast with these bad ass Mujeres! 

     

  • An Immigrant Journey to the Midwest for two young Women

    Chasing the American Dream comes with a lot of sacrifices. Age has a lot to do with the way one experiences the transition of a new country as an immigrant.

     

    While immigrant families often think of the opportunities and future that can open up for their children, they sometimes don’t think of the culture shock that their children face when they take them out of their country, a place they once called home, and moving them to an unknown country where they must learn to adapt to a new culture and speak a new language.

     

     

     

    As a child you don't have much of a say on the decision of moving. The transition can be smooth, a bumpy road, or a mix of both for young immigrants.

    Here's a story of two young women who immigrated as children with their family to Minnesota. Luisa Armendariz was four years old when she moved to Minnesota and Nadeen Al-Huthaili was 13. They had distinct experiences based on their age
     

     

     

     

  • Staten Island to go "Viral" with a Massive Gallery Show

    "Viral" A gallery show featuring the work of visual and musical artists from coast to coast exposing real-time censorship through free expression. Curated by Nati Conrazon. 
    We reached out to Nati so she could break it down. 

     

     

     

     

    Tell us about your upcoming event. 

     


    What inspired it?

     

    As the curator this being the first time ISLA (Staten Island Arts collective I founded in 2013) is presenting an arts show, I wanted to ask if love could go VIRAL.

     

    It seems that this era is full of domination and violence - a time where are aren't looking at each other through the most basic humanity. Not only locally from our community on Staten Island still reeling from the Eric Garner situation - by the way I said good morning to Eric that morning, he was a local character when I lived in that neighborhood - but also globally where there continues to be more Eric Garner's!
    What if Daniel Pantaleo - the NYPD officer we all saw in Ramsey Orta's video of his friend Eric's chokehold death - had love go viral within himself. Would he have applied a chokehold on another human being like that? What if those controlling drones felt the lives of the innocent they kill with remote machines. What if we understood collectively the love it's going to take to reverse the effects of climate change which will be affecting future generations. Can we think of love as going viral? Can we see the sickness of hate that's gone viral inside and among us? Could we change things?

     

     

    Who will be performing?

     

    Besides the art of 40+ visual artists and photographers from across the country, NYC and Staten Island, we have an exciting program of poets and performers performing from all across New York City!

     

    Our short program will be hosted by Gia Dupree aka Giadelohia - an emcee and educator from Philadelphia now based on Staten Island.
    ►Poetry from members of NYSAI Press - Staten Island's literary magazine - like Thomas Fucaloro & Eric Alter  plus The Peace Poets are joining us from the Bronx!
    ►Acoustic performances by Nenjah Nycist - an emcee based in Brooklyn who works a lot on Staten Island with the group The Rising Sun Allstars (who were friends with Eric Garner and made the song "I Can't Breathe" in tribute: http://www.vulture.com/2015/01/rap-group-that-witnessed-eric-garners-death.html) , Nani Castle -a ferocious Staten Island based rapper and educator born of Chilean/Irish radical roots, Ty Black an emcee from Brooklyn, Jam No Peanut - an educator based in Harlem who uses hip-hop to build revolution and teenage artist J Skills from Staten Island!

      

    Sample Soundclods:
    DJ Dizzle - of new Staten Island party, U4IC Floor - will be on the 1s & 2s
    ►Pop-up shop by local apparel brand Stereotype Co: 
    ►Chair Reiki and crystal pop-up shop by local healer Lune Innate

     

    What sort of Experience do you want event goers to have?

     

    This isn't a grim show. I want to cultivate a certain strength, possibility and imagination in the face of some very real things we are going through in this moment of history. Can we love each other through our differences? What would that look and sound like? How would that get supported? I want the art show to spark in the mind of a young teenager who may attend and is up against odds both racially and economically - that we can live in a world that doesn't continue to produce as many Eric Garner situations. 
    What's happened in the Staten Island community since the Eric Garner tragedy is telling. One of our partners - Staten Islanders against Racism and Police Brutality - formed recently with local students and college professors to take a stand against the mainline view that doesn't hold NYC cops accountable for their abuses. Same goes with another partner who has been making noise around justice  - The Legacy That Eric Garner Left Behind - started by The mother of Eric Garner's youngest child, Legacy, who is a baby. Important seeds are being planted even if this is a story most Staten Islanders would rather forget and sweep under the rug.
    I want people who attend the show to know that for this to go viral: It's going to require work, organizing and moving beyond our perceived and constructed differences.

     

    You are one of the classic back stage people that make a lot happen can you tell us about other projects you have worked on?

     

    Thank you! I create for creators - as a cultural advocate and social entrepreneur - so my work ranges from managing artists to handling promotions to working in licensing. We as hybrid #DIASPORADICAL are building hybrid careers - if we dare to. I'm still figuring out the balance as a bicoastal "bohemia" (as my partner calls me haha!) but I like to say I'm investing in new paradigms while playing the game para dime$. What does that mean? It means I believe that this current manifestation of Capitalism is not working - which I witnessed as someone who worked in the proper music business for a decade working with acts from Manu Chao to Bomba Estereo to Los Rakas - and we ought to invest more collectively with each other to build ownership of our cultures. A lot of that work I'm doing on Staten Island, yes (this art show is an example) but it's work that's super inspired by work I'm doing in California like in Sacramento at Sol Collective (10 year old organization) as well as in San Francisco with Acción Latina (40 year old organization) - both huge examples of cultural spaces which are holding spaces in their respective communities in sustainable ways. I'm also super interested in the world of legal Cannabis - which I also see as advocacy against a real war on black and brown people and a war on consciousness. This idea of truly cultivating is something that excites me both online and on the Iand - it takes work. I love that this journey is taking me on new paths too - I have never curated an art show but it's really beautiful how my community has rallied together around this. Super proud about that and the potential of this feeling.
    I list all my current and past projects here: www.conrazon.me/projects/current-projects

     

    What wakes you up in the morning?

     

    The possibility that we don't have to be trapped by the boxes we were born into. Freedom wakes me up in the morning -- and a strong cafe cubano! 
    Like many others, the Latino community wrestles with its presence here in the united states, as a community whose roots are global and disperse.

     

    Where do you see the latino community now?

     

    We are #DIASPORADICAL. We come from so many different histories yet we share a language in theory. But now, we're building new language - ehem I speak mutant digital Spanglish - emojis y todo, LOL! I think we need to move beyond holding on too tight to the Latino box - I'm proud to have roots in Cuba and Colombia - but I'm a mutant New Yorker to the core who is the future Latina. Meaning? I'm a global citizen like anyone else - except as "Latinos" our histories come from all over. This Diaspora is rooted in Africa - as are all peoples - and that is what happened in history. Now we must look to the future. We must look in each and every human being we encounter daily. The #DIASPORADICAL understand movement and what it meant to have families who struggled to migrate (as many other groups did) - and what it MEANS now. Growing up on Staten Island was a great introduction to understanding that - I grew up with Ukranians, Nigerians, Italians, Puerto Ricana... Perhaps I was born too soon but, I am much more than just Latina, you know? We can be anything, belong everywhere and I believe the more urgent question may be now how will we build across these boxes many have convinced themselves they are confined to - to work towards the root of what we need to be building together, which, is going to take multi-racial and ethnic collective cooperation - against domination, greed, fear and hate of a world which is rebalancing.

     

     

    And rightfully so.

     

     

     

     

    Twitter: conrazon 
    Instagram: naticonrazon
    Website: www.conrazon.me

     

     

     

     

  • Podcast with Council member Alondra Cano

     

    I sit down with Minneapolis Council Member Alondra Cano. We cover a range of topics including the general hostility that she experiences as a public figure and council member committed to social justice. Alondra also discusses her experience with accusations of doxing in relation to  speaking against the execution of Jamar Clark and her support of the activists of #BlackLivesMatter.

     

  • La Onda Musical de Gilberto Rodriguez

    Musician and Activist Gilberto Rodriguez captures your attention with his earnestness and urgency. The music off his debut LP, "Desde los de Colibri" is inspired by the Nueva-Trova musical movement of Cuba, the sounds of the Mexican/American border, his indigeneity and musical contemporaries in an emerging latino musical scene in California. 

     

    We walk through the streets of San Francisco with Gilberto on his way to record finishing tracks off his album at Different Fur Studios. Our podcast is recorded throughout various stops along the way, touching on life, art and family roots in California

     

     

      

    Photography by Kolepa Phy and Claudia Li
     

    Entrevista con El Cantor entre las Calles del Barrio:

     

    How do you approach your indigenous identity?

     
    It's complicated. My parents raised me in California the majority of my life. I was born in the Los Angeles General Hospital in 88'. My earliest years were spent with my family at Plazita Olvera across the street from LA Union Station. They lived and worked within the immigrant refugee center where displaced Nicaraguense, Salvadorian, Honduran, Guatemalan, and other civil war affected people would arrive and figure out their next step. 
     
    So my most immediate experience with indigeniety was cloaked under an overarching narrative of our latin immigrant diaspora. Direct answers regarding tribal ancestry were usually coded in stories of survival which was the most immediate concern for our families.
     
    My community, parents and grandparents gave us glimpses into our prehispanic traditions through foods, mannerisms, sayings and stories but colonization meant that the deeper roots sometimes lay dormant.
     
    I've come to learn that as original people of the land we are intrinsically tied to specific geographies that require complex relationships overtime. To develop a spiritual, physical and mental connection to the land, must be reciprocal and not forced. But how can you do this when circumstance sets boundaries that prevent you from doing so? 
     
    Many of us find ourselves in this situation. But it's OK because we live in a time where we are awakening and flowering as a people. 
     

     

    How do politics shape your music? 

     

    Our first breath was a political action- An act of political dissidence by means of existence. Now when I pick up my instrument or write a line, often times it's something like treason only because that which moves the content of the music are the ungovernable forces beyond the reach of the state.
     
    Who would you like to perform with? 
     
    Jimi Hendrix, Los Cadetes de Linares, Hamac Cazzim, Jessica Pratt, Quitapenas, Erykah Badu, Chalino Sanchez, Jack Rose, Lydia Mendoza, Junior Kimbrough, Los Cojolites, Wolf Eyes and the list goes on!
     

     

    In your wildest dreams where would you like to take your music?  

     

    I am always drafting dream tours throughout Mexico and beyond. I would like to move through Los Angeles and New Mexico. 2016 into the Caribbean sounds right. Perhaps along the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and then into Belize and further down south past Panama. New York. The Arctic northwest up the Kobuk River. Throughout the Secwepemc Nation. On the hand bill playing for the Tuareg people alongside Tinariwen somewhere in Northern Africa's Sahara.
     

     

    Where is your sound going next? 

     
    "Desde los de Colibri" was a monsoon like creation, a humid storm that felt very apocalyptic in scope. It was a dark and lonely adventure for the most part. There was a big lyrical emphasis. I lived alongside each song. An album written on the road throughout jungles, barrios, prisons and mountain top villages in Mexico and California. A 12-string guitar slinger type of sound in all terrain drive in any kind of weather. I am grooving more now, moving slower through the creative process. Taking time to pause and improvise on melodic and vocal phrasing. Assigning color to tone and verse.

     

    Purchase "Desde los de Colibri" here

     

     

     

     

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