Soledad Speaks!

Good evening Beautiful People!

Continuing with the theme of breaking silence. We all know how living in a Latino/Caribbean household is, while growing up our parents would say, “”los trapos sucios, se limpian en casa”, what happens at home stays at home. I’m sure most of us can relate. Which is sad because keeping things silent has not helped anyone. Many have gone through abuse in silence, afraid of not being able to speak up, scream, cry or even believed if they were to say something. And I am talking about all kinds of abuse, no exceptions!

With that being said, I had the privilege of seeing the performance show, Soledad Speaks at BAAD!* for a second time. The show was directed and executed beautifully by Linda Nieves-Powell featuring the poetry of the talented Latina women, Meriam Rodriguez, Maria Rodriguez, Peggy Robles- Alvarado, J.F. Seary and choreography by Milteri Tucker. “The Journey begins during the seventeenth century on the island of Puerto Rican and ends in modern day New York City. Revisiting colonialism and the effects on women, the journey from slavery to rebellion to freedom, SOLEDAD SPEAKS pays homage to those who came before us in the hopes of understanding how their legacy has defined who we are today.”

To me, this show is about speaking up against the stereotypes, stigmas, social norms, patriarchy and displacement that exist in this world.

This show gave me life!! It was wonderful to see the performers give their all on the stage. It was felt. I felt their words, their emotions, their strength through their language. This show will make you laugh, cry, and even cringe because of its honesty but most of all it will make you THINK! Think about this patriarchal society. Think about the social constructs that have been imposed on us. Think about how silence is deadly. Think about sexuality. Think about how society makes us feel that we don’t belong when knowing very well we bring sazon to this bland country!

This show was very empowering and it showed vulnerability that allowed me to relate to everything. Specifically, I was able to relate to Meriam Rodriguez’s ‘coming out’ story, how difficult it is to ‘come out’ to your mother while she is more worried about the fear and the opinion of others than your happiness. And the scenes where they were all around the dancer, Milteri Tucker, trying to fix her hair, relax her hair instead of making her feel proud of the texture of her crown. How she needs to look like a ‘white’ American. I also appreciated the scene about women’s sexual liberation because of course we are taught that we shouldn’t talk about sex. I especially liked how they were able to convey the message that although we are in America we belong here and we are here to stay, that we are EVERYWHERE, “we are breaking stereotypes” because “we be the beat of this city, and we be the spirit of this city”!!!

I can go on and on about this show but I am sure it will be on again so you need to see it for yourself so you can understand what I mean. You will not be sorry!

This show uplifts every woman, the Latina woman, the Caribbean woman, all women of color. It shows us that we are powerful beyond measure. We deserve to be here and we will show you why! One line that I will always remember that was said by Peggy Robles-Alvarado, “a bowed head can not properly carry a crown, baby girl”. So, let’s adjust our crown because we have things to do!!

 

Thank you for making SOLEDAD SPEAKS heard!!! May it continue to do so!

For more information about the show and the director/cast members please visit www.soledadspeaks.com

Visit and Like their page on Facebook

 

*BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance- www.baadbronx.org

 

This has been beauty, brains and blogging approved!

Broken Silence: Fundraiser Event

Hey all!!

It has been a busy, busy, week of going to different events and checking out friends do their thing!! So I am excited to share my experiences when attending these events that you may be interested in.

So, last Saturday, I went to Broken Silence: The Blue Vein Pages Journal Fundraiser and Poetry Showcase by Tamara Saliva.

I met Tamara about a year ago at a NYC Latina Writers Group meeting. She is the sweetest person I know and a passionate person at that. When she believes in something she works diligently to make her dreams a reality. She started this fundraiser because she saw how important it was to give children a space for them to write about their personal stories. She wants children to know that regardless of whatever circumstances they have lived, their stories are important and should be written down. She firmly believes that through writing, from what I’ve seen, you can be honest and vulnerable. She believes that every one can tell their stories no matter the age.

The reason for the fundraiser you may ask? Tamara states, “the new project is to give the children a journal that is a little more personal, not just another composition notebook. I am creating a Blue Vein Pages Journal. These journals will never be sold. The Blue Vein Pages Journal will always be an item I provide to children after my performances be it at a summer youth orientation or any other outreach opportunity. These journals are for children of all ages.”

The event was fantastic! Poets came through to showcase their talents and break the silence! Silence is so common and deadly! Therefore, it is important that we speak up about experiences otherwise we will forever repeat the same cycles.

 

 

Pic courtesy of Mark Vigo and Tamara Saliva

Pic courtesy of Mark Vigo and Tamara Saliva

The poets were as follows Nicholas NicholsRalphy Tatuxmen PerezTaino BrigsIbrahim Asad Siddiq P.O.E.T, Mark Mark Anthony Vigo aka Vigo Hard BKPeggy Robles-AlvaradoMaria Rodriguez, and Christopher Chilo Cajigas.

All of these artists left their mark on the space. What I appreciated from the artists poems was that they were all about making their voices heard, although they had hardships, pain and sorrow caused by either their parents, siblings and/or lovers, they showed that we can learn from our experiences. Our voices are important and should be heard. Breaking the silence is important and oh so necessary. As Audre Lorde said, “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

I can clearly understand why Tamara wants to provide a journal to all children who feel that they don’t have a voice or a space to write down their stories. I asked Tamara some questions:

Andreina: Why is this project important to you? 

Tamara: This project is important to me because there’s so many untold stories in this world. Untold stories of abuse, all sorts of abuse child physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence, verbal mental and emotional abuse. Too often the victims of the abuse believe they are alone, I want them to know they aren’t.

A: What is your ultimate goal? For the future for this campaign?

T: The ultimate goal is to get a journal in every hand that is seeking to have a voice. Even if it means that the only person who knows the sound of that voice is the writer and their journal. The ultimate goal is Voice. My main focus is the kids I work with over the summer, but I want these journals to go to anyone no matter what the age is. These journals will never be sold because the profit is giving voice to the voiceless.

 A: Why should the community help out and support this cause? 

T: I am turning to the community because it is our communities that voices are being silenced. It is within the community that the abuse is happening and it takes a community to make a difference in just one person’s life.

 A: What makes it different from anything you’ve done before?

T: This project is different from what I have done previously because what I did before was go to the community and have them send me actual composition notebooks. This time around I want them to have something a lil more personal than just a notebook from the dollar store.  These journals will be printed with a note that reads:

 Dear Writer,

May this journal serve you as the

voice of all that is not expressed but

requires its release, expression is

the freedom of silence, voice is the

sound of truth and words are

experiences manifested into

sentences, these are the telling’s of

your story.

Always,

Tamara G. Saliva

If nothing else they will know that someone cares enough about their story to give them a journal created just for them.

Thank You Tamara for doing this, for taking the time to give to the community, our children who are in need.

And with that, I hope you make a donation to this campaign, which is still going on…For further information please visit http://www.gofundme.com/bvpjournals

This has been beauty, brains and blogging approved!

Broken Veins Fundraiser