I could have easily called this book Bennie from the Bronx Muses Over Images, Words, and Life’s Lessons. However, I chose to call it Musings, A NuYorican Living in France. You see, growing up in the South Bronx I would have never thought in a million years that I would be a photographer, a poet, a performance artist, or a NuYorican living in France for that matter.
Let me explain what a NuYorican is first. NuYorican is a term, which takes New York and Puerto Rican and morphs it into NuYorican. It is a term that symbolizes the diaspora of Puerto Ricans who either were born in Puerto Rico and moved to New York, or are born in New York from Puerto Rican parents.
We lived on Freeman Street in the South Bronx and it was there that I began appreciating images. The static images from Life and Time Magazines and moving images on the television fascinated me with the rich stories they brought into our lives. Fifty years later I became a photographer, a video artist, and a performance artist. I also wrote prose and combined words and images to tell a story even if it was fictionalized. I am a storyteller with words and images.
The first part of the book is about photographs that I have taken and prose I felt spoke to me at the moment. The photograph would inspire the writing and the writing spoke back to the photograph. Photographs wrapped in narrative create a different artistic experience. The second part of the book contains some of my poetry and prose that I wrote throughout the years. Lastly, the book includes excerpts from a project I did in 2003, A NuYorican Looks Back: Reflections in Words and Images. It’s a look into the experiences of a Latina woman who is trying to see where she belongs in this changing world.
It is my hope you come away from this book an appreciation for words and images, experimental poetry, and an expat journey of life experience who considers her home this word. Peace!
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