“The Artist in the cycle of Claiming Places” by Rafael Damast

In the book Diálogos, Placemaking in Latino Communities, the writers discuss one definition of place as referring to “territorialized local communities, collective memories associated with territory, claims of authenticity by local actors, phenomenological associations with locales, and social relationships among people in territorial communities.” In other words, place connotes a community’s shared history and experience 

Taller Puertorriqueño’s (Taller’s) proposed move into new facilities, expanding its services to further its mission as an institution that promotes the understanding of Puerto Rican and Latino cultures, was the genesis for its 2012 – 13 exhibition cycle, Claiming Places: Unity, Ownership, and “Hogar” (Home). In the Puerto Rican barrios around Taller, the availability of affordable housing and workspaces is luring in artists, young professionals, and first-time homebuyers who are not Latino. Also entering the mix are Latinos who are not Puerto Rican. This increase in demand and diversity in the area (while not alleviating the needs of the Puerto Rican community living here) has set the stage for a full investigation of what it means for Puerto Ricans and the Latino community in general to claim a place as their own. This concern falls within the context of the Puerto Rican neighborhoods of North Philadelphia, Mexican immigration, changing attitudes of the local youth, and acknowledgment of varying aspirations and viewpoints within the Latino community. This conglomeration, paired with the need and demand for better public services, employment opportunities and understanding, set this cycle in motion.

1st Report: May 11th | 5-7pm

CP-LAB - Lost Lots / Journey to Refuge -

After working for a month in our individual projects, on May 11th we are presenting our first report to the public. If you are interested please RSVP to claimingplaceslab@gmail.com.

Location: 2721 North 5th Street, Philadelphia PA 19133