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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2021

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JUNE 2021 Issue
Critics Page

Marcela Guerrero

In Puerto Rican Spanish there is a phrase that says, “Nos quitaron tanto que nos quitaron el miedo” (They took away so much from us that they even took away our fear). When the people overthrew Ricardo Rosselló during the Verano del 19 (summer of 2019) this phrase

and others became the rallying calls shepherding resistance in Puerto Rico. I think about this phrase a lot, because it signals a turning point—the will to build a different reality because survival is at stake.

At the risk of sounding naïvely hopeful, I think what is possible now is the ability to make oneself heard. Activism, with its important precedents in the history of the United States and around the globe, has precipitated an avalanche of voices that refuse to stay silent. Multifarious points of view deployed through social media and very much present on the streets have been veritable catalysts of change. It is electrifying to see a resolute unwillingness to put up with the same old shit. Whether people are denouncing white supremacy, colonialism, gender normativity, toxic masculinity, anti-Asian racism, or anti-immigrant sentiments—which, make no mistake, are all deeply connected—the univocal message is that these structures need to be dismantled. The pulse of these voices breathes oxygen to society.

Contributor

Marcela Guerrero

Marcela Guerrerois the Jennifer Rubio Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She lives with her family in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2021

All Issues