Here & There conference puts the focus on Guatemalan art and activism

GuatemalaFullA new interdisciplinary conference at SUNY New Paltz will examine the work of Guatemalan artists and journalists who have taken part in the wave of public expressions that emerged after the signing of the peace treaty that ended the three-decade long civil war in Guatemala.

“Here & There: Guatemalan Diaspora Through Activism & Art” is an all-day conference set to take place on Oct. 22 at various venues across campus. The event features a number of sessions designed for New Paltz students and faculty, and culminates with a Keynote Address from renowned artist Regina Galindo, who will give a multimedia demonstration about her global efforts to express her unique vision of art and politics.

Galindo and the other artists and journalists visiting campus to participate in this exciting program are documenting and making visible the atrocities perpetrated by the State during the civil war. Through different strategies, inside and outside Guatemala, these activists want to lift the veil and inform the citizenry of the painful history that many are denying or are trying to forget.

“It is important for our students to be exposed to diversity, activism and art, as well as culture and politics,” said Luz Porras, conference co-organizer and lecturer in the departments of Languages, Literatures & Cultures and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. “This program will expose students to very successful, highly committed artists with a strong social consciousness.”

The complete schedule is as follows:

10 – 11 a.m., Old Main 1907 Room: Service Learning in San Marcos Atitlan, Guatemala. The Guatemala Service-Learning class Human Rights in Guatemala integrated activism with the academic content of our curriculum. Students and faculty will discuss their experiences fund raising and building a community concession stand and an adobe (brick) oven to support a nutritional center and after school program.

11:15 – 12:30, Honor Center: Art Talk. Guatemalan artists will present and talk about their work, sharing their creative process and the ways their works relate to specific contemporary social issues.

2 – 3:30, Honors Center: The State of Journalism in Guatemala Today with Lucía Escobar. Escobar will share her experiences of being an activist and journalist in Guatemala and the dangers, challenges and rewards she faces.

4 – 5:30, Honors Center: Being a Guatemalan Artists – a Roundtable. Artists Jessica Lagunas, Juan Carlos Pinto, Emilly Hassell, Regina Galindo and Lucía Escobar will speak with students and faculty about their lives and their approaches to artistic expression.

6 – 7:30, Coykendall Science Building Auditorium: Regina Galindo, “Los que Nos Quedamos.” Regina Galindo is the only Central American artist to have been awarded the Venice Biennale Golden Lion (Year). Since her successful appearance onto the international art scene, Galindo has become widely recognized as one of the artists that are leading a new generation of performance art and time-based media.

This conference is made possible through the sponsorship of the Office of the Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, the Department of Latin American & Caribbean Studies, the Department of Anthropology, Campus Auxiliary Services, the Center for International Programs, the Collage of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Department of Digital, Media & Journalism, the School of Fine & Performing Arts, the James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship in Journalism, the Department of Political Science, the Department of Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies, Spanish Club and Mid-Hudson Amnesty International.

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