YOUNG LORDS HISTORY
At a crossroads in US history, the Young Lords fought for human rights of Puerto Ricans and other oppressed people. Known for bold actions and dramatic protests, they brought attention to the dire conditions that people were living in the 1960s and 70s paving the way for progressivel changes. -palante.org
SUMMER 1969 -- East Harlem Garbage Offensive. Because of the lack of garbage clean up by the NYC Dept. of Sanitation, YLP members went to the streets of East Harlem and with trash bags and brooms in hand, began to clean up reclaim the streets.
DEC 28, 1969 - Young Lords take over the Church, name it the People's Church, and begin an 11-day occupation. They establish free breakfast and clothing programs, health services, a day-care center, a liberation school, community dinners, poetry and films. Thousands of supporters attend activities - it was a defining moment.
MAR - MAY 1970 -- Young Lords conduct door-to-door TB testing in the Bronx and El Barrio of more than 800 people; a third test postive.
JUL 28, 1970 -- YLP takes over Lincoln Hospital for about 12 hours and demands door-to-door preventive health services, maternal and child care, drug addition care, senior citizens' services, grievance table, and increased minimum wage for hospital workers. -palante.org
Honoring Legacy- The Young Lords Photography Project--gives us an opportunity to excavate the perspectives, historical memory and philosophies of the Young Lords Party members through Photography and Interviews. My hope is that this project will create introspection and discussion; connect unlikely collaborators; inspire civic and cultural participation; raise funds for the preservation of our history and human rights and cultural programs; and celebrate the unique fabric of being people of color and that of The Young Lords Party.
Moreover, this project will have a strong focus on who they are as people, not purely on their recollections as young lords. Now as Elders, this project will call upon the individual and collective Wisdom of the YLP members and etch their memories and guidance onto the YLP Project Book and website. This is also the first project of it's kind in which at least thirty (30) YLP members are honored through sitting portraits.
The scope of the initiative is an ecosystem that calls for different phases:
1. Interviewing and Photographing The Young Lords: Themes for the Interview:
All Photographs are shot on 6x7 Medium Format Film in both Color and Black and White as well as digital capture. All Prints from the B&W collection will be developed and printed by hand.
2. The Book. Creating the Narratives and fusing them in a Photography/Interview/Historical Book. This will be an art book, a photographic study, a cultural ethnography, a history book and in some ways a unique guide to the legacy of The Young Lords Party. Most importantly it is a tool for our people's preservation. The book will focus on the above themes and lead each photo(s) with quotes taken from each theme. (April 2013)
3. The Gallery Show. Have an official launch to the project by honoring the Young Lords in a photographic and multi media exhibit. The exhibit will house the portraits taken of the Young Lords members and share with us how they look today. (TBD)
4. The Website. This would be an extension to the project where there will be a mix of photos, videos and information on the activist from the photo book, from what's going on with them now, to how to contact them, maybe twitter or Facebook contacts so the activist can get more exposure and where people can get more information on them. Shortened versions of the interviews on the Young Lords members will be on the website as well. This website would serve as another vehicle for continuing and preserving the legacy of The Young Lords.
In September of last year (2011), I left my position as Program Director for El Puente, a Latino Based Human Rights Cultural Arts Community Center in Williamsburg Brooklyn, to become a full time stay at home father.
I entered El Puente at 24, I left at 32. During those years I was able to connect with my humanity because El Puente is the perfect organization to awaken our "CHE-ism's" through a platform of Arts for Social Change, community and educational services and a through a High School, The El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. From leading rallies on affordable housing to marching on the Capital for Immigration Reform, my time at El Puente and the family of people who work there were instrumental in my development as an activist and as an artist.
El Puente was Founded by Luis Garden-Acosta (Young Lords Party Member). El Puente continues to be an ambassador and legacy of the Young Lords Movement. Luis and his wife Frances Lucerna are mentors and friends of mine and play a pivotal role in this project. As such I entered the Young Lords Project not only as an artist/photographer but as a student and teacher of the Principles of the liberation for our people.
As a photographer, film maker and social artist I am most interested in creating documentation of the African and Hispanic diaspora through film, video and photography.
Your Support Goes to....
The initial scope of the project has been funded exclusively by me . In order to fulfill the entire scope of the project. Through Kickstarter, this project will be funded by a greater community while gaining exposer for the project. Goal of the Kickstarter.com fundraiser:
• Funding for the film and development of the film for the portraits as all portraits will be hand printed.
• Funding for travel across several states and to Puerto Rico.
• Funding for editor for the book
• Funding for graphic designer for the book
• Funding to print the portraits for the gallery exhibition.
• Funding for replacement of light bulbs
All funds raised will be used Exclusively for the development and execution of the Young Lords Project Book, Website and Gallery Show.
If we go beyond our goal, I will then be able to interview and photograph more YLP members throughout the United States.
With your support, I will be able to help preserve and honor the legacy of our people, The Young Lords Party.
- (45 days)