HOW HAS YOUR BACKGROUND AFFECTED YOUR LIFE/ WORK?
I am the daughter of immigrants. ESL plays into everything in life.
Coming up in an all black, all brown mostly new/1st gen immigrant neighborhood colors everything I make. I have a ferocious drive to elevate not just be represented but to elevate to praise and honor immigrants and their experience, to make people aware of the superhuman strength and the kind of sacrifices that people are called to make when they journey here, working for a better life for their children and generations after. You don't know what work is until you know how people new to this country work. I love this city for the constant influx of multiple cultures and for keeping so many languages in my ear throughout the day.
I long to and work towards dethroning decentering English as a primary language here. I am possessed with the compulsion to drive a stake thru the heart of white supremacy. I got to live thru and see with my own eyes what a destructive force poverty is. I've seen families destroyed by crack and AIDS I was around and I saw that. We know it wasn't an accident which communities were targeted, and the rage i have about that is useful and keeps my eyes open, or at least gives me the willingness to be awake. I saw what happens when self loathing and hopelessness is passed down from generation to generation of colonized people - internally i know it in myself and spent/spend time exorcizing that. I know how important it is to celebrate who we are, our skin, our culture, our language, our distinct way of being and our roots. I have found that celebration is my favorite tool of liberation #dance. I learned sadly from my own culture how much control and subjugation of women/ femme is needed to uphold patriarchy. That this programming stops w me / us is a prime motivating force. My ancestors on all sides were machete carriers and when my dad passed 5 years ago i had the distinct impression he handed me my own. I'm coming through swinging.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU (UPCOMING PROJECTS)?
I’m finishing my latest novela. I make these Spanish language short films for the tv in my mind... this one is a meditation on monogamy its called "MONOTONY" lollllllllll. I wrote/directed it this last summer when I was in Berlin. It was the longest time I had ever been out of New York in my whole life - almost 4 months. Lately also started fucking around w making regeton tracks. I find the instrumentals on youtube (usually I'm extremely collaborative but got tired of waiting for music and not learning logic fast enough). These producers giving away beats if you search USO LIBRE which is such a gorgeous phrase and idea, a give away medicine magic and an interesting sort of anonymous collab. So I wrote a theme song to my proabortion project "Thank God for Abortion" and also just recently wrote an homage offering to Sylvia Rivera trans leader / mother/ icon which i performed at a benefit for Sylvia Rivera Law project. Working on a EP of regeaton protest tracks.