Puerto Rican Protest
From Amanda Guzman
We continue our speaker series with Marisol Ramos, a University of California, Santa Barbara Research Librarian in the subject areas of Chicana/o Studies, Latin American & Iberian Studies, Spanish & Portuguese.
She enters the class conversation as we start a new section on public engagement analyzing how the diverse types of cultural productions that arise out of moments of contemporary social crisis mobilize community solidarity. We considered the artistic responses (such as performance and visual art) that accompanied the 2010 University of Puerto Rico student movement direct actions. We considered the popular responses to the island recovery process in the aftermath of the 2017 Hurricane Maria from charity campaigns to memes and contemporary art.
For Ramos, it all started with a question in the late summer of 2019, referred to commonly today as the "Verano Boricua", when she asked her Facebook friends if anybody was archiving the moment. The moment that she was referring to was the unprecedented island-wide galvanization across traditional differences in Puerto Rican society to demand the governor's resignation after the leaking of derogatory, offensive private messages between him and his political allies. The tone and content of the messages as well as the governor's initial reaction to their release has been described as by some anthropologists as a violation of Puerto Rican "core cultural values".
The resulting RickyRenuncia Project is a multi-media assemblage of mainly digital material (ranging from news articles and videos to tweets and memes) but also includes some analog material (in the form of protest signs).
Outlining how their team made use of but also adapted the features of the digital tool of scalar for their particular project needs, Ramos stressed how digital born material is a "moving wall" that is ephemeral in nature - necessitating rapid-response collecting, organized workflows, and contextualized metadata storytelling (with ethical implications).
Ramos concluded her talk with the hope that this digital humanities project is just the beginning and that her ongoing collaborative work to build out the project, in terms of pedagogical applications and long-term preservation planning, will serve as a model for future documentation projects.
- Amanda Guzman
To learn more about Marisol Ramos' work and the RickyRenuncia Archive project:
Indexing work completed by Trinity undergraduate, Janira Delgado. To access the indexing chapters for this talk, click the icon at the top left of the video.