Friday, January 23, 2015

Digging the Past


From February 12 through May 29, Denver's Museo de las Americas presents CHICANO. Maruca Salazar, the Museo's Director and Curator of this exhibit, says in her Curatorial Statement:

"I have embraced the idea of CHICANO because it represents the future generations and the power of hybrids that gets us closer to the Raza Cosmica.

"The state of being a CHICANO is extemporaneous, and lives in the narrative of the movimiento, in clandestine books of dead poets, and in organizations that preserve the history of the brown people of the 20th Century."

Featured Artists: Carlos Fresquez, Delilah Montoya, Daniel Salazar & Francisco Zamora



This promises to be an exciting exhibit.  The featured artists are excellent; each has an admirable track record of provocative and stimulating art. Maruca's vision for the exhibit is refreshing, and her excitement contagious. She believes exhibit visitors will be blown away by the varied installations and the format of the exhibit overall. One of the artists, Carlos Fresquez, described to me his hard work on his project. It sounds as though Carlos will pay tribute, in his unique and often humorous manner, to the nostalgic past, the immediate present, and the optimistic future, as well as Batman. I'm sure the other artists also will stir the masses with their creative memorials to the concept of chicanismo.

One of the events linked to the exhibit is billed as "Conversacíon Contacto: Literature of the Movimiento with Mario Acevedo, Flor Lovato, and Manuel Ramos." This panel discussion takes place on February 27, 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the Museo. I've been preparing for this panel by going deep into my files and reading some early movement poetry.  Here are a few samples. I don't want to step on anybody's copyright toes, so these are only excerpts. 

First, selections from El Diario de la Gente (magazine published by the United Mexican American Students of the University of Colorado), Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Cinco de Mayo, 1973.)


From Houston to Austin  -  Abelardo Delgado
with one more little shove
i could return
        to myself
i could very easily become
the prodigal son
...

 And What Shall I Do Now? - Abelardo Delgado 
...
and what shall i do now ...?
asks the cleanly shaved, gum chewing man
from his wheel chair and sandaled feet.
now that the four walls in this
nursing home as well as the 
room mate are foreign, 
the manager, the nurse, the cleaning woman
... all strangers ... they don't even speak spanish.
...

 Time Has Come  - Tigre
  ...
So as I walk down the street full of human heart beats,
Yet gentle as the early morning rain ...
The undeclared scholars of the barrio.
We finally realize we had never known the meaning of
    peace at all.
...

Now a selection from El Grito, 1973 (edition entitled Chicanas En La Literatura y El Arte.)

Untitled - Adaljiza Sosa Riddell
...
I found you, Chicano,
but only for a moment,
Never para siempre,
Temilotzin died the morning after,
Malinche.
It's too late.
The world does not wait
for indecision,
neither do Chicanos.
...

This one from El Grito, 1968.

22 Miles - José Angel Gutiérrez
...
I've been told that I am dangerous.
That is because I am good at not being a Mexican.
That is because I know now that I have been cheated.
That is because I hate circumstances and love choices.
You know ... chorizo tacos y tortillas ARE good, even at school.
Speaking Spanish is a talent.
Being Mexican IS as good as Rainbo bread.
...

From Canto y Grito Mi Liberación, 1973.

Denver ... - Ricardo Sánchez (1970)
denver loneliness,
caught fragmented
neath neon anomie ...
Chicanismo rapped en inglés,
tatterdly worn
como jorongo engarrado 
...


From Infinite Divisions, 1993.

Mestiza - Marina Rivera (1977)
...
don't call me for the Chicanos,
nor for my parents,
nor for women.
summon me for myself,
...



Museo de las Americas Invites you to the Opening Reception of

CHICANO
February 12, 2015
6:00-9:00pm

Museo  de las Americas | 861 Santa Fe Drive | Denver | CO | 80204
_________________________________________________________________

Hope to see you at the exhibit and the panel discussion

Later.


3 comments:

alvaradofrazier.com said...

Absolutely love the poetry. I remember studying Alurista's Flor y Canto, that was 70's too. I go to Denver often, but unfortunately will not be there when this exhibit opens. My prima was a Brown Beret and I remember the marches in Oxnard (my hometown).

Raquel Hug said...

Enjoyed your poetry. I like previous commentator also remember Alurista. I was at Sacramento State University during the 70's it was a period in my life I will never forget with the RCAF, La Marcha de la Reconquista, DQU. And so much more. I am proud to have been able to participate in a small way in el Movimiento Chicano during the 70's.
Si Se Puede!

Raquel Hug said...

Enjoyed your poetry. I, like previous commentator also remember Alurista. I was at Sacramento State University during the 70's it was a powerful period in my life I will never forget with the RCAF, La Marcha de la Reconquista, DQU. And so much more. I am proud to have been able to participate in a small way in El Movimiento Chicano during the 70's.
Si Se Puede!