While the independent arts movement in Puerto Rico continues to grow, especially in the fields of literature, visuals and music, other art forms like performance and theater are also coming out to provide entertainment and social commentary on the island’s current political and socioeconomic status. Among the many presentations to balance these elements is CiRcO dE La pLaZa, which has been celebrated mainly in Mayagüez for the past four years. Mainly organized by members of the Vueltabajo Sitio collective, CiRcO dE La pLaZa has been known to be a series of events that bring together the community while providing entertainment, education and political commentary, and this year’s closure was no stranger to that.
Starting the event by walking from Taller Libertá towards the public plaza in Mayagüez, this year’s closure consisted of all sorts of puppets, dancers, musicians and performers. Among the many activities presented in the event were songs that inspired audience members to participate, storytelling for both pure entertainment and political commentary, music, spoken word poetry, acrobatics and theater performances which encouraged all sorts of participation and thinking.
Like in the previous seasons, CiRcO dE La pLaZa’s commitment to their community continues to stay alive and well. The group of performers still manage to entertain and inform their audiences with a variety of presentations that feature a wide variety of art forms from literature and visuals to performance and music making it a great place for people to gather around and connect while being entertained, informed and, probably, inspired
All of the pictures in this article were taken by Fernando E. E. Correa Gonzalez
Every day Puerto Rico’s independent art scene continues to grow. However, one of the areas that is barely mentioned from the movement is its literature community. But last Saturday July 21st two up-and-coming writers, Sabana Grande’s Patrick Oneill and Moca’s Anthony Acevedo, got together in Aguadilla’s La Casita Books & Gifts to present their latest short story collections, Rio Muerto and Cortoga respectively, which use the genre of horror to reflect on society’s dark side.
(promo for the event)
Once the audience sat down and got comfortable, the book presentation started with a brief Q&A held by fellow writer Omar Palermo who served as the moderator for the event. Among the many questions asked were some involving how Oneill and Acevedo started writing, their influences, the inspiration behind their new texts, their thoughts on the current status of horror literature in Puerto Rico and how their lives were reflected in any of the short stories.
(picture by Fernando E. E. Correa Gonzalez)
After the brief Q&A, the writers were given the space to read some fragments of their books. Oneill kicked things off by reading the introduction of his short story “Necromater” and then Acevedo provided listeners a glimpse into his “La Balada del Carnicero”. However, the texts weren’t read in full as both authors felt that the rest would be too gruesome to be read out loud and the audience seemed to think so too as some felt a bit grossed out by the images provided in the stories.
(picture by Fernando E. E. Correa Gonzalez)
The event finished after the young authors answered questions that ranged from how these texts might affect young readers, the mission of these books and if the writers would be willing to work in the field of comic books. In the end, Oneill and Acevedo managed to create dialogue with the audience regarding a variety of topics, some of which included the current status of Puerto Rico and how these stories reflect that. Thus, what seemed to be a simple presentation of horror fiction became a deeper conversation about reflecting on one’s country and what we can do to rehabilitate it, which goes to show that if horror is written properly it can make one reflect on the more important aspects of life.
Find Rio Muerto and Cortoga
Fernando E. E. Correa González is the author behind over 20 self-published poetry books. He has been published by literary magazines & journals [Id]entidad, El Vicio del Tintero, Sábanas Magazine, Smaeralit, The Occulum and Tonguas. Other than writing, Correa is also a filmmaker, photographer and master’s student. He currently lives in his native Puerto Rico.