Monthly archives: November, 2017

Theatre of the Oppressed

We had a fun and insightful night on November 16th, when Teresa Veramendi came to the LCC to lead a workshop using Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. Veramendi shared improvisational theater tactics to help us understand and fight oppressive forces in our immigrant communities. This event is part part of our ongoing ARTivism program series which seeks to advance social justice through creativity and the arts. The image above was part of an activity where we explored vulnerability and control.

Dia de los Muertos 2017: Ceremony & Exhibition

As part of a celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the UIC Latino Cultural Center hosted a series of interactive events both on and off campus. After setting up an altar of ofrendas (offerings) at the center on October 30th, a workshop on November 1st allowed for students to decorate sugar skulls, construct paper flowers, and create seed bombs to celebrate, life, death, and the cultural practices behind day of the dead.. This same day, the Latino Cultural Center honored the late environmental feminist activist, Berta Caceres through an altar at the National Museum of Mexican (see other spotlight).

The next portion of the year’s day of the dead celebration took place on November 2nd and consisted of a ceremony. For the ceremony, Nahua Lessons visited the center to instruct students in Indigenous dance and conducting a symbolic cleansing ceremony. A final event took place at Casa Michoacan as an a collaborative art installation with artist Esperanza Gama, honoring Mexican artisans. This series of events was open to the public and done in an effort to enrich cultural understanding and participation of the practices behind Dia de los Muertos.

Dia de los Muertos 2017: Berta Cáceres Ofrenda

On Wednesday, November 1st, 2017, the UIC Latino Cultural Center partnered with the National Museum of Mexican Art to showcase an ofrenda altar installation at the NMMA’s Dia de los Muertos: After Dark event. The ofrenda honored Berta Cáceres, a Honduran environmental and human rights activist who was murdered last year as a result of her activism. This interactive installation showcased aspects of a traditional ofrenda, while allowing visitors to contribute to and learn from it. Visitors added objects such as bread, candles, and sugar skulls to the installation. In addition, a river model was created, representing the importance of water to human life. Visitors were encouraged to contribute messages about their own connections to nature and natural resources. Visitors were also invited to learn more about Berta Cáceres and the Latino Cultural Center, through videos, zines, and souvenirs. Highlights of this ofrenda included a t-shirt created for the one year anniversary of Berta’s assassination given to us by Gaspar Sanchez, a current leader of COPINH and a portrait of Berta Cáceres by local artist Esperanza Gama, who the LCC collaborated with for the ARTivism: Stolen Lives.