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Chicago’s Puerto Rican Activists Turned The Horrors Of Colonialism Into A Haunted House

Chicago Boricua Resistance made a haunted house out of imperialism in “Colonialism Undead” at the Segundo Ruis Belviz Cultural Center this Halloween. The creators hoped the installation would highlight the horrors of Spanish and U.S. colonial rule in Puerto Rico. 

While there is nothing more terrifying than intimate details of colonialism — like the fact that Conquistadors rode the backs of Taínos instead of walking sometimes out of laziness — the haunted house isn’t solely fixated on the darkest aspects of history. 

The event describes itself as “a haunted house showcasing the horrors of colonialism in Puerto Rico with a reggaeton-resistance get down against oppression.” All proceeds of the event will support arts and culture initiatives, apprenticeships, and programs with local guest curators. 

The haunted house is made of four rooms that will highlight different historical horrors.

While there are no ghouls or demons in the house, its four rooms will trace a different period in Puerto Rican history. The 16th-century Spanish colonization, the United States annexation in 1898 and Hurricane Maria will each be showcased. 

Puerto Rican history is no stranger to horrors: genocide, slavery, pillaging, plundering, natural disasters, and economic exploitation have riddled the country for centuries. 

“Colonialism is scary as hell,” Miguel Alvelo, a member of Chicago Boricua Resistance, told PRI. “When you look at it — when you really look at it — it is terrifying. But the thing is, as colonized people, we’ve normalized it so much, we don’t really think about it.”

“Colonialism Undead” makes imperialism more tangible to understand.

The house hopes to defamiliarize abstract notions of colonialism into something in the tangible world that visitors can engage with. 

“Turning this supposedly abstract idea of colonialism into a haunted house is a way of bringing back the reality of what’s happening,” Alvelo said. 

The venue is meant to be dark and moody, but it is more like a chilling art installation than a place where actors in costumes will pop up to scare you. Using archival footage and audio and original works of art, the space will bring history back to life. 

According to PRI, the structure of the roof is made of blue FEMA tarp as an illusion to Hurricane Maria. The tarp belonged to Ephram Ramirez Jr., a member of the collective’s father who survived the disaster with his 93-year-old grandfather in San Sebastián. Today, Ramirez says the road by his father’s home is impassable because it has not been repaired to the extent a banana tree has grown in the middle of it. 

Yes, there will be ghosts, actually. 

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Zombies come from colonialism! The folklore of the zombie originates in post revolutionary Haiti where it integrated with Voodoo religion. Bokor sorcerers used the undead as free labor or pawns tasked with commiting evil acts. The zombie became the cautionary tale of the potential return of slavery to a nation haunted by its consequences. After the US invasion and occupation of Haiti in the early 20th century, the zombie started its creeping steps into US popular culture. When the US occupied Haiti it systematically attempted to destroy the native religion of Voodoo. Haitians resisted and, in turn, when the US left it took with it a white[washed] zombie that first appeared in the 1932 movie "White Zombie." Since then, most zombie films and TV shows completely ignore the Haitian origins of the myth, but still continue the underlying tradition of the zombie as the cautionary tale of things that can come or return, the anxieties of a World haunted by its past and constantly transforming into unfamiliar paths. To learn more about Colonialism Undead join us on Oct. 31 at @segundoruizbelvis cultural center for a haunted house on the horrors of imperialism and a reggaeton-resistance party que pondrá a bailar a to' los muertos. Sources: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/how-america-erased-the-tragic-history-of-the-zombie/412264 http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150828-where-do-zombies-come-from https://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/JC28folder/WhiteZombie.html https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/zombie-movies-are-never-really-about-zombies-180965321/

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While all of the details of the haunted house are kept hush-hush, Chicago Boricua Resistance said there would be ghosts. One of them is Dr. Cornelius Rhoads, an American oncologist who conducted experiments on Puerto Ricans. In 1931, the doctor injected research subjects with cancer cells. 

In a letter made infamous by its scathing racism, Rhodes proudly admitted to murdering eight Puerto Ricans. The letter which will be featured in the exhibit says Puerto Ricans are, “the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever inhabiting this sphere.”

Other historical ghosts will be featured and judging by Rhoads’ inclusion, they’re sure to be pretty scary too. 

The 1937 Ponce Massacre will be centered among other atrocities. 

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"ICE imprisons 50,000+ people. Thousands crowd into concentration camps that freeze, starve, physically and sexually abuse, and even kill detainees. Others endure maximum security in criminal prison despite legal standards against punitive detention for migration infractions. And still others are warehoused in privately run “shelters” that plaster a more pleasant facade on unjust, unnecessary, in humane incarceration. Another 40,000 other lives hang in limbo, trapped by the “remain in Mexico” policy that disallows asylum seekers from waiting in the United States while their claims are considered. More asylum seekers will soon be denied under a bogus "safe third country" policy that requires individuals to have already been denied asylum elsewhere before seeking it in the US. Thousands more kids have been separated from their parents. Millions more live in fear of deportation as ICE increases raids, arrests people seeking legal status during routine check-ins, and targets activists who speak out in defense of the undocumented. And yet, knowing all this, many thousands more will continue to make the treacherous journey toward the US border. That is because they are trying to escape violence and instability that threaten their lives—stoked by US policies from backing brutally repressive governments to enacting free trade deals that allow US-based extractive industries to profit off displacing indigenous communities. The US government founded its existence on genocide and slavery. These human rights abuses are all the more deplorable carried out on stolen land, on the basis of colonial borders. In the spectacular shamelessness if US capitalism, these crimes present irresistible business opportunities to corporate giants like Amazon that cash in by selling facial recognition software and cloud services. Close the concentration camps! Let them all in! No business with ICE! Decriminalize migration!" -Coalition to Close the Concentration Camps Chicago #Chicago #nooneisillegal #chicagomarathon

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“Some of the older aspects of colonialism seem like the most raw and outrageous things, but there’s a lot of present-day things that are just as outrageous,” Omar Torres Kortright, executive director of the cultural center, told PRI. 

The event will have a nod to the 1937 Ponce Massacre, where peaceful protestors organized to oppose the imprisonment of Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos were shot at by police who killed 17 unarmed civilians and injured 200. Among the massacre, the forced sterilization of a third of Puerto Rico’s women which began in 1936 and ended in the 1970s, the 3000 who died during Hurricane Maria, and an influx of wealthy white investors will be addressed at the show. 

“It’s like a second invasion,” Kortright said of the investors. “They’re buying our land. And they’re taking out our young people that have been trying to keep that land. I think that we’re in that process where we’re going to lose our land, and we’re going to lose our home, basically. And that’s the huge risk of this normalization.”

The exhibit ends with a reggaeton resistance because the intention is to activate Puerto Ricans and allies against the looming and current oppressive forces. 

“In a world that is telling you over and over again that you’re not worth anything, that you should stay quiet and you should follow the rules, taking time to be loud, have fun, have pleasure — is a form of resistance,” Alvelo said. 

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Donald Trump Compared His Son’s ‘Proud Latina’ Girlfriend To Eva Perón After RNC Speech Where She Claimed Puerto Rico Isn’t Part Of The United States

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Donald Trump Compared His Son’s ‘Proud Latina’ Girlfriend To Eva Perón After RNC Speech Where She Claimed Puerto Rico Isn’t Part Of The United States

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

We might all be proud Latinas but not all Latinas are so proud of Kimberly Guilfoyle.

The girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. has proven herself to be a controversial figure on both sides of the Democratic and Republican aisles. The American attorney, prosecutor, and television news personality has made waves for her part on the 2020 presidential campaign trail as she stands by her man and his grody dad. She even showed her support during a very loud appearance at the Republican National Convention wherein she made claims of being a “first-generation American.”

Her booming speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention quickly went viral and prompted a comparison to Argentina’s Eva Perón from Donald Trump. As well as backlash from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who gave her a major fact check.

While critics found Guilfoyle’s speech to be
“over-the-top,” at the very least our so-called “leader of the free world” loved every bit of it.

According to reports, soon after her speech, Donald Trump called Guilfoyle and praised her for her speech. He even compared her to Eva “Evita” Perón.

“That was fantastic…so amazing,” Trump told Guilfoyle on the reportedcall. “So much energy…so much passion.” According to The Daily Beast, the president said “nobody could have done that but you,” and called her “my Kimberly.”

Eva Perón was the former first lady of Argentina from 1948 to 1952. In 1976 Andrew Lloyd Webber made her story into a musical called Evita. Trump has apparently been a huge fan of the musical.

While Trump loved the speech Ocasio-Cortez was quick to slam Guilfoyle for her speech and the ignorance that she delivered during it

AOC took Guilfoyle to task for calling herself a child of immigrants and a “first-generation American.”

“My mother Mercedes was a special education teacher from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. My father, also an immigrant, came to this nation in pursuit of the American dream,” Guilfoyle recalled in her speech.

The claims, like many made by the Trumps, are only partly true. While Guilfoyle’s father is from Ireland, her mother was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico which makes her a U.S. citizen.

“The woman the GOP picked as their ‘proud’ Latina … didn’t seem to know that Puerto Rico is already part of the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a Twitter.

AOC, also a proud Boricua, noted that Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens by birthright for over more than a century.

The lawmaker slammed Guilfoyle for supporting the Republican portrayal of Latino Americans as foreigners despite the fact that they are U.S. citizens.

“It reflects their belief that Latinos aren’t real citizens,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Guilfoyle who is a former Fox News pundit received quite a bit of backlash for her RNC speech last week in which she shouted into a camera. Even memes were born of the event which was not done before a live audience. They want to destroy this country and everything we have fought for and hold dear,” Guilfoyle shouted during her theatrical event. “They want to steal your liberty, your freedom!”

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A Video On Social Media Has Everyone Assuming That Bad Bunny Is Now Engaged

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A Video On Social Media Has Everyone Assuming That Bad Bunny Is Now Engaged

gabrielaberlingeri / Instagram

Social media is a great way to spread your news. It seems like Bad Bunny might secretly be trying to spread some special news. A video on his girlfriend’s Instagram has everyone speculating that the Puerto Rican artist is now engaged.

It’s amazing how one video can send people into a series of tailspins.

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mi canción favorita y me la quitan 🥺 #vivaelperreo

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It seems like a woman innocently sipping a smoothie and enjoying her day. However, if you look closely, you will see that the young woman is actually wearing a ring on an important finger.

The news is spreading fast all over social media.

Nothing has been confirmed but social media works as good as a small-town rumor mill. As soon as one person sees it, everyone has to know about it. Like, it can never just be a little secret for people hold among themselves. Twitter is the land of snap reactions and unfounded claims.

The rumor has already started breaking hearts across the internet.

Honestly, the best part about celebrities is believing that you can one day be their boo. Now, with this cryptic video, it is clear that Bad Bunny’s heart is being permanently taken away from us.

Some folks are just mad.

Like, calm down. It is literally not a big deal because of the likelihood of finding and marrying a celebrity is pretty low. Hollywood has spent too much time trying to get us to believe that that was so possible.

Some people are happy for the young woman finding happiness.

Nothing wrong with celebrating someone who is winning at life. If you were engaged to Bad Bunny, you’d be happy too.

READ: Fans Are Worried After Bad Bunny Was Rushed To Hospital For Emergency Surgery

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