San Juan, Puerto Rico – Island as Identity


Puerto Rico occupies a unique place in American identity. Wholey American and yet uniquely apart. We explore this paradise through the lens of anti-colonial art in the heart of San Juan, ex-pat poetry and spoken word in the shadow of the rainforest and independence minded activists at an old San Juan watering hole.
La Bruja, “the witch”, takes us on a spiritual journey of art and identity through El Yunque – the only rainforest that is also a US national park. We then discuss what it means to be Puerto Rican for her, and the thousands of other Puerto Ricans living on “the mainland”.
Daniel Lind Ramos discusses his work at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and how he confronts the legacy, and reality, of colonialism. His work explores the impact of violence and oppression, and marginalization perpetrated against a whole people and the role it plays in a population’s identity.
In an old haunt on a well trafficked cobblestone street Tito Kayak regails us with the tales of activism and defiance that made him famous in Puerto Rico. Some very unique beverages from our dedicated bartender loosen his tongue and we learn that his fight for Puerto Rican independence continues to this day.