Alibi V.27 No.39 • Sept 27-Oct 3, 2018 

Art Preview

Intersections of Art and Activism

Artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo in conversation with journalist Juan D. González

El Cerro, in Puerto Rico, an ongoing project of Chemi Rosado-Seijo
El Cerro, in Puerto Rico, an ongoing project of Chemi Rosado-Seijo
Courtesy of Chemi Rosado-Seijo

For many years Puerto Rican artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo has worked in the mountains of Naranjito with the local community on an expansive art project. It has been effectively a collaboration between Rosado-Seijo, the residents of El Cerro and the landscape as the people have transformed their houses by painting them different shades of green and participated in a series of creative workshop that examine relationships to the physical place, as well as themes of belonging and collective identity.

Juan D. González is a powerhouse in the field of journalism, also hailing from Puerto Rico. Many of us are familiar with his voice as it streams over the late afternoon airwaves on Democracy Now!, which he co-hosts, or have read thousands of his words during his long tenure as a reporter for the New York Daily News. His investigative pieces have been extremely influential across the nation and have won him a great deal of admiration as well as formal accolades like the George Polk Award.

On Friday, Sept. 28 these two brilliant individuals working in different fields—yet fields that very much speak to one another—will be in conversation thanks to a program hosted by 516 ARTS and supported by the Lannan Foundation. Held in conjunction with 516's exhibition, Puerto Rico: Defying Darkness, González and Rosado-Seijo will discuss a variety of topics that are currently shaping the figurative and literal landscape of Puerto Rico. These topics are set to include the continued effects of Hurricane Maria, the debt crisis, a history of colonialism and resilience and unique power of the island's artists and activists.

This event, held at the KiMo Theatre (423 Central Ave. NW) offers up a portion of its proceeds to benefit the UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program in Puerto Rico. The conversation, which begins at 7:30pm, will be followed by a reception and a book signing. General admission tickets are $12, and a host of details can be found on 516 ARTS' website, 516arts.org.

This evening offers a unique opportunity to listen in on a conversation between two brilliant minds who are interpreting and shaping our understandings of complex issues, and how these can be explored through many channels. Get your tickets online or at the door.