SOLDADERAS-
Frida Kahlo, Julia de Burgos & Mexican/ Puerto Rican solidarity
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Unveiling ceremony, Soldaderas

Unveiling ceremony, Soldaderas

The unveiling ceremony on July 6, 2011 (Frida's birthday and the anniversary of Julia's passing) begins with a Mexica blessing by Kalpulli Huehuetlahtolli. Photo by Joe Conzo

Soldadaras Unveiling Ceremony

Soldadaras Unveiling Ceremony

The unveiling ceremony begins with a Mexica blessing by Kalpulli Huehuetlahtolli. Photo by Joe Conzo

Soldaderas Unveiling ceremony

Soldaderas Unveiling ceremony

The unveiling ceremony begins with a Mexica blessing by Kalpulli Huehuetlahtolli. Photo by Joe Conzo.

Soldaderas Unveiling ceremony

Soldaderas Unveiling ceremony

The unveiling ceremony begins with a Mexica blessing by Kalpulli Huehuetlahtolli. Photo by Joe Conzo.

Musical blessing

Musical blessing

Musical blessing at the unveiling ceremony. Photo by Joe Conzo

Congas for the Soldaderas

Congas for the Soldaderas

Photo by Joe Conzo

Sandra Maria Esteves, Soldaderas

Sandra Maria Esteves, Soldaderas

With godmother of Nuyorican Poetry, Sandra Esteves and Program Host Rhina Valentin. Photo by Joe Conzo.

Yasmin Hernandez & Tato Laviera

Yasmin Hernandez & Tato Laviera

Photo by Joe Conzo

Candlelight vigil

Candlelight vigil

After the opening remarks and presentations, a candlelight vigil is held for Julia de Burgos at the garden, marking the anniversary of her passing. Photo by Xen Medina

Poetry Vigil

Poetry Vigil

Sery Colon and la Bruja, light their candles before the poetry procession/ vigil. Photo by Xen Medina

El Regalo de los Reyes!

El Regalo de los Reyes!

Sery Colon reads Julia de Burgos' poem "El regalo de los Reyes" featured on the red stripe behind Frida Kahlo, shared by the Mexican and Puerto Rican flags. The poem is about our flag. Photo by Xen Medina

Poets preserving Boricua culture

Poets preserving Boricua culture

My dear poet friends Prisionera and Sery Colon. Photo by Xen Medina

Prisionera, 23 de Septiembre

Prisionera, 23 de Septiembre

Prisonera, representing for the Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico, of which Julia de Burgos was a part, reads one of my favorites, "23 de septiembre." Photo by Xen Medina

La Bruja at Manny's mosaic

La Bruja at Manny's mosaic

La Bruja reads a poem by the Julia de Burgos mosaic on 106th St by Manny Vega. Photo by Xen Medina

Plena procession

Plena procession

Pleneros lead the procession up 106th Street. Photo by Xen Medina

At the procession with baby Gabriel

At the procession with baby Gabriel

Me with a very sleepy Gabriel, 2 years old. I was also about 2 months pregnant with Josef. Photo by Xen Medina

detail on Julia altar

detail on Julia altar

Flowers from Julia's altar at the last stop of our procession, 5th avenue, near 106th street, near the site where she was believed to have fallen. Photo by Xen Medina

SOLDADERAS PRINTS

Frida Kahlo
Mexico                            
July 6 1907- July 13, 1954                             
Julia de Burgos         
Puerto Rico
               
Feb 17 1914- July 6, 1953

 


Soldaderas, named after the women soldiers of the Mexican Revolution, is a mural tribute to Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos. It honors the common histories, common struggles and solidarity of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Inspired by Kahlo’s painting, “Las dos Fridas,” the two women sit holding hands, their flags merge sharing a central red stripe.   Both were feminists, upheld revolutionary ideals and shared a profound love for their respective homelands. At a time in which their male counter parts did not delve into personal issues in their poetry and art, de Burgos and Kahlo unapologetically made the personal political.
 

Soldaderas is also inspired by the neighboring Puerto Rican and Mexican communities who have made El Barrio/ East Harlem their home.  The mural unveiled in El Barrio at the Modesto Flores Community Garden on Lexington Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets on July 6, 2011.  I chose that date because in a poetic twist, Julia de Burgos died on July 6th, 1953, Frida Kahlo's birthday.  The mural unveiling brought together members of the Puerto Rican and Mexican communities, opening with a Mexica blessing by Kalpulli Huehuetlahtolli and combining poets, performers and speakers from each of these cultures. A candlelight vigil began with the godmother of Nuyorican Poetry, Sandra Maria Esteves, reading the famed Rio Grande de Loiza, on the bridge over the water in garden.  After the program in the garden, a procession was led by pleneros, stopping at several significant sites along 106th Street/ Julia de Burgos Boulevard, where poets recited selected de Burgos poems. The procession ended with another candlelight vigil on 5th Avenue, near the site where she collapsed before have passed. There we read Dadme mi Numero y Poema Para mi Muerte. 

© 2017-20 by Yasmin Hernandez. All rights reserved.  Moca, Puerto Rico. yasminhernandezart@gmail.com

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Soldaderas 2011, Yasmin Hernandez

Yasmin Hernandez with her Soldaderas mural, July 6th, 2011. Modesto Flores Community Garden, Lexington Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets, East Harlem/ El Barrio NYC. Photo by Javier Soriano.