Big smiles and enthusiasm in the air characterized the mood this week as we welcomed our 2017 cohort with a series of events beginning Monday, August 28. From registering to class and meeting advisors, to familiarizing with the Latin American and Caribbean City of New York, these activities were designed to help our new cohort get settled in school and getting a broader perspective of their new home.
Day 1 – Included an overview of CLACS with faculty, students and alumni, as well as a “nuts and bolts” session with the new cohort and a campus tour.
Day 2 – Two museum visits. One to El Museo del Barrio that included a guided visit to the NKAME and Debtfair exhibits. The other, to the Museum of the City of New York‘s exhibit Rythm and Power. This last one was guided by its curator and this year’s CLACS Visiting Scholar Derrick Leon Washington. The activities ended at the New York City Mayor’s West Indian American and Caribbean Heritage reception at the Gracie Mansion.
Day 3 – Started with the new cohort’s meetings with academic advisors. This was followed by a walking tour of the historic sites of the Puerto Rican community of Loisaida in the city’s Lower East Side neighborhood. Led by community leader and activist Iyawó Pepe Flores, the sightseeing tour took the group through various blocks that included lunch at Casa Adela, stops at gardens and casitas, the Nuyorican Poets Café, and a view of the current exhibit at Loisaida Inc.
On July 12, 2017, CLACS hosted a timely event with two of Honduras best known indigenous leaders. The night’s conversation featured Bertha Zúniga Cáceres, daughter of the late Lenca community leader Berta Cáceres and General Coordinator of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), and Miriam Miranda who is General Coordinator of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (ONAFREH) and a well-known Garífuna community leader.
The night’s events began with a presentation of two short clips honoring the memory Berta Cáceres, which also served to contextualize the conversation to come. The first clip, was from the Berta Vive documentary, followed by a part of the acceptance speech by the Lenca leader from her acceptance of the Goldman Prize (2015). With this, the stage was set for the conversation with the featured speakers moderated by Grassroots International‘s Latin America Program Coordinator Jovanna Garcia Soto.
With a capacity room, the conversation featured insights on current affairs in the struggles of the indigenous communities in Honduras. Bertha Zúniga spoke about the legacy of her late mother, the importance of unity in resistance struggles, and denounced current anti-terrorism laws. Miriam Miranda, on her part, highlighted the importance of her people’s cultural traditions and spirituality in resisting the current crisis in favor of of life in Honduras.
This event was co-sponsored by Grassroots International and NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.
Link to Videos and Transcripts
A year in the making on Spring 2016, NYU’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and Columbia’s Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) presented “From War to Politics: An International Conference on El Salvador’s Peace Process.” This was a remarkable convening of stakeholders in the signing of the peace accords that ended the civil war in El Salvador. The conference, which was sponsored by various institutions including the Department of History at NYU, the Office of the Provost at NYU and Columbia University, provided the opportunity for a candid public conversation between sometimes opposing parties and regional players in the war and to reflect about the conflict, share insights about the historic resolution and explore the current consequences in El Salvador of the vestiges of war.
Almost a year after the three-day gathering that included 20 participants, the full videos that were live streamed worldwide at the time and the transcriptions of those conversations are available for all to see and explore through this link. We understand these documents to be sources for a new understanding of the process and a contribution on scholarship in topics such as History of the Americas, the Cold War, Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Human Rights, among many others.
Special thanks to Will Hogue of Fordham University and CLACS Graduate Assistants Michael Cary and Diego Cristian Saldaña for their work in these efforts.
At CLACS at NYU we’ve been celebrating International Women’s Month by hosting The Sanité Bélair Women’s Empowerment Series all this month. So far, we’ve hosted Black Afro-feminist activist Fania Noel and rapper and spoken word artist Theresa Sophia Alphonse. Later this month we’ll be hosting Stephani Saintonge, an award-winning filmmaker & documentarian. To give the CLACS at NYU’s community more insight about the inspiration behind the series, Haitian Creole Language Institute founder Wynnie Lamour talks about Sanité Bélair and the deep historical roots that ground the events:
“Despite the invaluable contribution of many women in Caribbean history, their voices and stories have often been left by the wayside, having fallen prey to the whims of a society that often undervalues women. From providing the nurture needed by their communities to blazing new pathways, women have always lead the way for movements of great change.
The Sanité Bélair Women’s Empowerment Series was born out of a desire to celebrate and center the visionary work of contemporary Caribbean women. Sanité Bélair was a Haitian freedom fighter and revolutionary, and one of the few women soldiers who fought during the Haitian Revolution at the turn of the 19th century. Sanité, whom Dessalines described as “a tigress,” is formally recognized by the Haitian Government as a National Heroine of Haiti.
Just as the Haitian Revolution led the way for so many others in the Caribbean, the courage and fortitude displayed by Sanité during the Haitian Revolution was unparalleled and continues to echo in the spirits of many Haitian women today. Her passion and fire serve as inspiration for the three Modern-Day Revolutionary women being featured this month in the Sanité Bélair Women’s Empowerment Series: Fania Noel, Black Afro-Feminist Activist; Theresa Sophia Alphonse, Rapper & Spoken Word Artist; and Stephani Saintonge, award-winning Filmmaker & Documentarian.”
is a film and conversation series exploring the immigrant experience. This series is done in partnership with Cinema Tropical, and What Moves You?, and brings together educators, filmmakers, community activists, and the general public to discuss current issues of migration inspired by groundbreaking films.
We will kick off our Indocumentales Film Series this year with a screening of Habla y Vota, an HBO one-hour nonpartisan bilingual special that encourages Latinos to vote this November.
It features inspiring stories of leading Latino celebrities and media personalities such as María Celeste Arrarás, Prince Royce, Jorge Ramos and Adrienne Bailon, who are on a mission to make the voice of the Latino community heard in 2016. You will be captivated by the personal stories of these influencers as they share the depth and complexity of being Latino in the US. For more information on the film, click here.
Please join us for the opening of Indocumentales Film Series on Wednesday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m.
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU would like to welcome back our students and faculty and wishes all our followers a happy Fall!
We kicked off the semester by enthusiastically welcoming our newest MA students at orientation. We are excited to have such a dynamic group begin a new academic year.
We would like to usher in the new semester with an amazing set of events at our center. Some of the events we have planned for the Fall include a talk with Peruvian activist Verónika Mendoza about the challenges of the Left in the new Latin American scenario; a POETEA showcase to celebrate Quechua & Kreyòl with a night of poetry and tea; a panel presentation of the book “Kalman Silvert: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy,” to celebrate CLACS’s founding director and the center’s 50th anniversary; and and a presentation of the Chilean fantasy series “Trilogía del Malamor.”
Stay tuned for CLACS events this fall by joining the CLACS email list, liking CLACS at NYU on Facebook, and following us on Twitter at @clacs_nyu!
From June 17th to the 19th the Quechua/Kichwa film showcase May Sumak! (How Beautiful!) is going on the road to Washington, D.C. The showcase is a celebration of indigenous and community filmmaking in the Quechua languages spoken throughout the Andes and by immigrants in the United States. Created in 2015 by the CLACS student-led Runasimi Outreach Committee (ROC), May Sumak! will be part of the National Museum of the American Indian’s ongoing exhibition The Great Inka Road. The opening night will feature the film Killa and Q&A with its director Ecuadorian filmmaker Alberto Muenala. This conversation will be hosted by CLACS alum and former ROC member Charlie Uruchima. Click here for more details on the films, show times and venues.