Arts & Entertainment

Art murals tell the story of Puerto Rico’s independence

By Jorge J. Muñiz Ortiz

Lares, Puerto Rico, Nov 14 (EFE).- From Ramon Emeterio Betances to Rafael Cancel Miranda, prominent figures in Puerto Rico’s independence movement have become protagonists of several murals to reflect the country’s history.

The place chosen to have the faces of those figures on display is the town of Lares, where the first uprising against the Spanish colonial rule in 1868 has taken place in the country that is a commonwealth of the United States.

As part of El Grito del Arte Festival, the murals document the Puerto Rican independence struggle starting from that historic uprising until more recent events such as the 1954 shooting attack on the US capitol.

The face of Betances, one of the main revolutionaries in 1868, was painted together with the flag of the Grito de Lares movement by the Stencil Network, while the black and white mural of Pedro Albizu Campos, an emblematic figure of Puerto Rican nationalism and independence from the first half of the 20th century, was a courtesy of GoFive.

In addition, the portrait of Cancel Miranda also stands out in Lares, who was one of the four Puerto Rican nationalists who opened fire on the US House of Representatives, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison afterwards.

Don Remix, one of the famous Puerto Rican muralists, painted a colorful graffiti of Cancel Miranda with aerosol cans.

“He is a very important figure who fought with his life for the rights of us Puerto Ricans. It is an honor to also pay tribute to him,” Don Remix tells Efe shortly before getting back on a crane to finish his mural.

“It is an interpretation of his figure and his relationship with the community,” he says, referring to his work.

Puerto Rican artist Dennise Zoé González Crespo, known as Usuaria 210, created a historical chronology of the Grito de Lares since the uprising of 1868 on the island.

The Scream through Time seeks to highlight facts of the independence revolt and the groups that emerged later such as the Nationalist Party, the Boricua-Macheteros Popular Army and the Armed Forces of National Liberation.

All those artists perceive Lares, a mountainous municipality in the western area of ??Puerto Rico, as the birthplace of the 1868 uprising.

“It is a place that has a lot of history and that we must reflect on. We are here trying to bring something in line with the activity at a historical level. Our goal is that our history is passed from generation to generation,” Don Remix adds.

For Usuaria 210, a supporter of the independence movement, says “in the history of Puerto Rico, both past and present, Lares is a super important link.”

“Lares represents the feeling of a part of Puerto Rico that fights for rights inside and outside. Lares is the base of all those groups that were formed,” she highlights.

Other artists or groups that created pieces at the El Grito del Arte urban art festival, held this weekend, were the Morivivi Collective, Ana Maria, Sergio Vazquez, Andres Cortes, Javier Olmed and Luis Alejandro Rodriguez. EFE


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