My name is Saudi Garcia and I am a first year doctoral student in the NYU Department of Anthropology. My research interests lie at the intersection of race, gender, practice theory and digital media activism. This summer, I will be researching the natural hair movement in the Dominican Republic, historicizing and documenting the collection of people, places and digital spaces that together amount to a force that is visibly shifting Dominican society and culture. I will be talking to individuals about the impact that “going natural” has had on their lives, the lives of their families and Dominican society at large.
The Dominican racial difference paradox: Many different skin tones, one accepted and expected hair texture.
While much has been written about policies and norms that point to “black denial” in the Dominican Republic, few monographs have substantially covered the emerging efforts to develop Afro-identification and pride in the country. My work this summer involves learning about the journeys and struggles of the women (and men) who embrace natural hair in a place where wearing hair curly or afro has been interpreted as an act of rebellion that belies the Eurocentric aesthetic standards that have long been the norm among Dominicans.
La Boquilla’s new Fishermen Museum
Posted by Maria K. Navas – MA Candidate at CLACS / Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU
It’s six o’clock in the morning in Boca Grande, Cartagena, and I awake to a text from a friend, “Kariii, es que se me olvidó decirte anoche que mi suegra va a ser ahora en la mañana un etno tour en Boquilla por si quieres ir. Te recojo en quince minutos?” My friend, whose mother-in-law is one of the top tour guides of Cartagena—recommended to visiting dignitaries—is on a mission to visit La Boquilla, an Afro-descendant community in the outskirts of the city. Despite being a Cartagenera, La Boquilla is a community she has never visited, and never thought she would have needed to. The purpose of her first time visit is to discern whether or not a tour there would be of interest to her future clients. Sonia, who usually conducts her tours solely in the obvious historical sites of Cartagena, has of late, been requested to add “ethnic tours” to her repertoire.
Gaspar Yanga – First Liberator of the Americas – section of mural located in the Palacio Municipal of Xalapa, Veracruz
Written by Patrick Moreno-Covington CLACS MA Candidate
Stepping out of customs and into one of the many cabs queued up outside of Mexico City’s Benito Juárez airport, I became immediately consumed by all things Chilango. Street performers and vendors at traffic lights, insane amounts of traffic, delicious spits of marinated pork known as al Pastor slowly rotating on the sidewalk and so. many. people. The sights, smells and sounds of the megalopolis almost subsumed my attentive capabilities so that I barely caught the taxi driver asking me where I was coming from. My Spanish accent (or the fact that I was leaving an airport) must have given me away.
‘The United States, Texas’, ‘Ahh the United States, there are a lot of racist problems over there, right?’ ‘And that politician, he said a lot of bad things about Mexicans’. While trying to avoid an elongated discussion on why Donald Trump lowers the political standards of the country with his shameful and inflammatory rhetoric, I did want to engage my driver’s interpretation of America’s race problems.