Things That Matter

Family Members Of A Selena Tribute Artist Say That She Has Been Detained By ICE Despite Her DACA Status

In a sad turn of events this past Saturday, a vital supporter of a Latino community on the west coast of the United States has been detained by ICE.

Karol Posada, 28-year-old tribute artist of Selena Quintanilla captured the artistry and vocals sounds of the Tejano singer, carrying on her legacy by wearing her famed outfits. In an interview with VICE in 2015, Posadas said that she started signing because of Selena. ” Every Latina that was born with a Latina mom — you know, you see the movie and you get inspired. She was like an idol, the person that you always want to be when you grow up if you’re a singer,” she told the site.

According to reports, Posadas was returning from a performance tour in Texas on Nov. 2 when she was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at the airport in Harlingen, Texas.

Posadas– who is a participant of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals– moved from Guatemala as a teen.

She was raised in the San Fernando Valley and lived there at the time of her arrest. A GoFundME page launched in an attempt to raise money for the singer’s release says that she fled from Guatemala “escape the dangers and threats of her home country.” The site also says that Posadas was detained on Saturday while attempting to return home from a tour in Texas. It is unclear as to whether own not Posadas still has DACA protection.

Thus far, the GoFundMe page created in her honor has raised over $4,000. The site does not detail what the funds are for, but they are likely to help cover her legal fees.

Posadas’s GoFundMe page says that she is currently being kept at an overcrowded ICE facility in El Valle, Texas.

On Friday, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the GoFundMePage had alleged that she is being forced by the facility in El Valle to “to sleep on the floor, denied access to basic personal care products, and denied medical attention for her heart condition.”

The GoFundMe page for Posadas reads says that “Posadas is a Selena tribute artist, who has been helping in keeping her image, music, and likeness alive, as well as a singer in her own right. On Saturday 11/2/19 while returning from a tour in Texas,  she was detained by immigration at Harlingen airport. Karol is a DACA recipient, she is an outstanding person, with no criminal record, who was brought to this country by her family at a young age, to escape the dangers and threats of her home country Guatemala. She has been kept at an overcrowded facility in El Valle, and forced to sleep on the floor, denied access to basic personal care products, and denied medical attention for her heart condition, that jeopardizes her health and for which she needs treatment. We are running against time. Please help us cover the legal fees and expenses necessary to have her released. Please help us free Karol Posadas. We are working-class people, with no influence or money, so for society, our voices do not matter, and the human rights violations that she has been subjected to will go unheard. Help us change that!”

Fans of Posadas have been sharing the news of her detainment and using the hashtag #freekarolposadas to demand her release.

In a post to Instagram, a fan of Posadas shared the hashtag and wrote that it was “crazy how we see all this in the news you never think it will hit close to home in this case the #selenaquintanilla community I will be trying to coordinate a raffle/ sale or auction in the next 24-48 hours all proceeds to benefit to #freekarolposadas link in my bio let’s keep @karolposadasofficial in our prayers.”

Another user who goes by the name of @simepreselenass on Instagram wrote that they were “so saddened by this news, and I pray that she is at least well, since I can imagine just how unsafe those detention centers are. I don’t know her personally, but she messaged me a few times and is the most wonderful woman.”

“My heart is in pieces from this situation, especially because the people that support her including her husband are working class folks with no real influence who can only do so much to overcome these tragic circumstances. She needs our help. Please click on the link on my bio and help me free Karol. Time is ticking and especially because of her medical condition we must all come together and help this beautiful soul gain a chance at standing up for herself against the injustices of this current administration and the steps it has taken to marginalize and disenfranchise OUR people. Thank you everyone in advance,” wrote @rainbisour in a post to her Instagram page that also used the #freekarolposadas hashtag which has so far only been used 28 times.

An article by the Houston Chronicle reported that the manager of Posadas band: Roberto Cadilha, claimed that she was in fact a DACA recipient.

 According to the report, Posadas DACA documentation was in the process of renewal at the time of her arrest, but she had not yet received her physical document. Cadilha also told the Chronicle that she was holding up alright, but because of her heart condition she is currently experiencing “pain in her chest, constantly.” He also added that she had been sleeping on the floor but was eventually given a bed. 

Mexican Artist Transforms 1,527 Deadly Guns Into Life-Giving Shovels To Plant Trees

Things That Matter

Mexican Artist Transforms 1,527 Deadly Guns Into Life-Giving Shovels To Plant Trees

botanicocln / veri_fp / Instagram

A Mexican artist and activist embarked on a project to gather as many firearms as he could from Culiacán, Mexico, the city with the highest death by gun violence rate in Mexico, and transform them into shovels that would instead plant trees. Artist Pedro Reyes, a Mexico City native, has long been using his art to illustrate how evil can be transformed into good, with the right perspective. While the United States has, by far, the highest number of firearms per capita (120.5 per 100 persons), Mexico ranks 60th in the world. Pedro Reyes wanted to do his part in getting the deadly weapons off the street.

Reyes set out in Culiacán, Mexico, to trade civilian’s weapons for coupons for electronics, and residents traded 1,527 weapons.

Pedro Reyes’s project, known as “Palas por Pistolas” publicized the gun exchange on television ads and through local media.

Credit: bintazd / Instagram

 All of this was made possible by the botanical garden of Culiacán, which has been commissioning artists to perform social impact interventions for years. Reyes made a proposal to the garden to organize a city-wide campaign for a voluntary donation of weapons. The commission was able to pay for television advertisements and liaise with local media to promote the project. Soon, the whole city knew that residents were invited to give up their guns in exchange for a coupon. Those coupons were then traded at a local store in exchange for domestic appliances and electronics.

Of the 1,527 weapons collected, 40 percent were automatic weapons, “exclusively” used for the military.

Credit: molaaart / Instagram

The second phase of the project was put on public display. All 1,527 guns were taken to a military zone and were crushed by a steamroller in a public act. Then, the pieces were taken to a foundry and melted down to its original form. Once again, the same metal that was transformed into guns became a ‘blank page,’ available to transform into absolutely anything. Reyes worked with a major hardware factory to create molds that would create exactly 1,527 shovels. 

Since they’ve been repurposed, 1,527 trees have been planted.

Credit: molaaart / Instagram

The shovels have been on display at a variety of art institutions. Admirers could read an inscription of the shovel’s origin story on the handle. Later, children and adults alike would feel the weight of what was once a gun in their hands as they dug up dirt to plant new life. Trees have been planted at the Vancouver Art Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, Paris’s Maison Rouge, Lyon Biennial, Marfa, Texas, and Denver, Colorado.

“This ritual has a pedagogical purpose of showing how an agent of death can become an agent of life,” Reyes said of the project. 

Credit: botanicocln / Instagram

Like every other Reyes project to date, the gift is a change in perspective. For whoever might have been injured or died at the hands of those 1,527 guns, as many trees have been planted in their honor. Reyes breaks down the concept of a gun to what it is: human intention and scrap metal. With a simple shift in intention, that metal has created lasting memories for children and created oxygen-giving life on this planet.  

Since “Palas por Pistolas,” Reyes has also installed “Imagine,” a similar concept that instead turns guns into musical instruments.

Credit: Pedro Reyes

In April 2012, Reyes was given the opportunity to transform human intention once again. “I got a call from the government who had learned about Palas por Pistolas,” Reyes said. “They told me a public destruction of weapons was to take place in Ciudad Juarez and asked me if I was interested in keeping the metal, which would otherwise have been buried as usual. I accepted the material but I wanted to do something new this time. 6700 weapons, cut into parts and rendered useless, were given to me and I set out to make them into instruments.”

“A group of 6 musicians worked for 2 weeks shoulder-to-shoulder turning these agents of death into instruments of life.”

Credit: Pedro Reyes

Reyes said it was far more challenging than simply turning the metal into shovels. The metal had to create sounds. “It’s difficult to explain but the transformation was more than physical,” Reyes writes. “It’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons; as if a sort of exorcism was taking place the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost.”

Living in a community free of guns ought to be a human right. Many liberties that we enjoy today were considered utopian, and the first step taken into that direction was to Imagine.” Reyes continues to draw attention not only to where guns are used, but where they are made. It is an industry and one he continues to reclaim for life.

READ: Mexicans Are Questioning Their Government’s Decision To Release El Chapo’s Son After A Massive Gun Battle

After A Nearly 3 Decade-Long Career, Shakira Is Giving Us A Well Deserved Documentary And We’re LIVING

Entertainment

After A Nearly 3 Decade-Long Career, Shakira Is Giving Us A Well Deserved Documentary And We’re LIVING

Youtube

Shakira first gained fame in her native Colombia in the mid 1990s. And as a young millennial who grew up to her music, it’s hard to believe that the singer’s been such an iconic presence in Latinx music for almost three decades now. Shakira has built a name for herself as an entertainment powerhouse, this Latina has changed pop culture and reigns supreme as the hip-shaking queen. This year, she’s back from a vocal injury with a whole documentary —which will be premiering in theaters this month. 

In November 2017, Shakira suffered a vocal cord hemorrhage.

After a vocal injury which forced the singer to postpone her first tour in seven years — and her first since becoming a mother to two sons— Shak is ready to bounce back with a documentary that brushes on her vocal-cord hemorrhage injury, but mainly follows her in her 2017 tour ‘El Dorado’.

El Dorado, in 2017, marked her first U.S. trek in seven years. The run, however, was delayed for several months until Shakira recovered from her injury. 

We’ll get to see the Colombiana perform all of her classics. 

The 30-second trailer for the documentary, opens with shots that capture Shakira’s difficult recovery. But the rest of the trailer is packed with shots teasing the singer’s iconic return as she dances across the stage, plays guitar, beats the drums and sings to her classics “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever.”

Shakira took control of 100% of what went down during her ‘El Dorado’ tour.

instagram @shakira

Much like Beyonce did in her Homecoming show and ‘documentary’, this Latina diva took absolute control of every aspect of her live show: from the lighting to the musical arrangements to the choreography. “I want to look sexy as hell, or I cancel this!” yells Shakira with zeal to her crew during rehearsal in a scene of the film —and we can relate on a deep spiritual level.

In contrast to Beyonce though, and other superstars of her level, on this tour Shakira had no backup dancers, “I wanted the freedom to improvise,” she says to the camera during the film. The set design was purposefully minimalistic —inspired, she says, by Anton Corbijn, one of her favorite visual artists, who has directed music videos for U2, Metallica, and Depeche Mode.

The documentary was co-directed by the singer and will feature a lot of clips from her 2018 show in LA.

Shakira co-directed Shakira in Concert with James Merryman, and much of the movie was filmed at the pop star’s August 2018 concert in Los Angeles. The film will also feature behind-the-scenes clips and narration from Shakira.

Latinx music fans will also get to see other singers who have collaborated with Shakira.

instagram @nickyjampr

Fans of reggaeton are in for a treat! The documentary also features a few behind-the-scenes moments of Shakira in the studio with Maluma and Nicky Jam, writing and recording their songs ‘Perro Fiel’ and ‘Chantaje’ together. We’ll get to catch glimpses of her interacting with her family —aka her hottie of a husband, Gerrard Pique— and her band during rehearsals and between concerts. Viewers will even get to see her dancing and singing aboard her private plane, still brimming with adrenaline after performing the nightly two-hour-long show.

El Dorado won’t be available on streaming platforms just yet —the singer has something much bigger planned.

Instagram @shakira

Unlike other pop-star documentaries, El Dorado won’t be immediately available on streaming services or DVD. Shakira wanted her fans to have a communal fan experience by screening it in theaters. Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour will be shown in more than 2,000 theaters in more than 60 countries on the same day. Alongside the film, there will be a live album of the tour coming out this week as well. 

Shakira dedicated ‘El Dorado’ to her fans.

instagram @shakira

The entire project, the film and album, is a gift to fans who have been with her through thick and thin and who, Shakira says, are the true protagonists of El Dorado. “When an artist decides to go on tour, in a way, he or she needs reaffirmation,”  she said. “We need to confirm that there’s people out there loving us, worshipping what you do. . . . [There’s] a very narcissistic motivation behind all of that.”  “When I came out on tour this time, there was none of that. I just wanted to do it for them, because they were there for me.”

Tickets for Shakira in concert are available on the film’s website. Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour will premiere internationally on November 13th