Tuesday, December 7, 2010


1.        "Ashram." Wikipedia,The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia,The Free Encyclopedia, 20 Sep. 2010. Web. 7 Dec. 2010.
2.        Attenborough, Richard. Gandhi. Perf. Ben Kingsley. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Goldcrest Films International, International Film Investors, 1982.
3.        “Gandhi.” Biographies. Celebsa-Z.com. ND. Web. 7 Dec. 2010.
4.        "Gandhi (film)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 Dec. 2010. Web. 7 Dec. 2010.
5.        “Mohandas K. Gandhi.” New York Times 5 March 2009, Times Topics: People: G: GANDHI, MOHANDAS K.
6.        SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Mohandas Gandhi.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 1 Dec. 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ridgewood Theater

   Ridgewood Theater

My public work of art is The Ridgewood Theater that is about two blocks away from my house and is located on Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens that borders the neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale, as well as the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. This community is home of families of diverse backgrounds, including Hispanic Americans (Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Ecuadorians), Eastern Europeans (Polish, Romanian, Albanian), and Arabs. I read in the Bushwick Newspaper, the local newspaper, that historically Ridgewood was a German neighborhood.
 The social and ethnic backgrounds in the locality were not the only things that changed. The whole culture around films and movie houses (as they were called in the past), in USA was altered dramatically too, particularly because of the advent of television, Internet, DVD and gigantic cinema companies such as AMC and REGAL. Ridgewood was not the exception, for that reason many people in this area choose chain movie theaters as the Regal multiplex at Atlas Park or AMC theaters in Manhattan.
I moved to this area 6 months ago, and when I saw that old theater mix feelings started to emerge inside of me. The first one I felt was melancholy because my passion in life is film and I know how important was this kind of entertainment for people back in the old days. I did not know the story of the Ridgewood Theater, and when in my class of Art, Politics and Protest, the professor asked me to show an example of public art in my neighborhood, the first thing that came to my mind was the story behind this theater.
I did some research about this place, and I found out important information. The theater was first opened on December 23rd in 1916, for this reason is considered the "longest continuously operating first-run theater countrywide" until its closure in 2008. During the time it was opened, the Ridgewood Theater witnessed the evolution of film and the American cinematic history, from black and white to full vivid color, and from silent to sounded films. The theater was designed by the architect Thomas White Lamb ((1871 - 1942), who was one of the foremost American theater and cinema architects in the 20th century. The Ridgewood Theater exhibited one of the earliest designs of the architect who built more than 300 theaters around the city, the country and around the world, in countries like Canada, England, Egypt, India, Australia and South Africa.
Sadly in early March 2008, the Ridgewood Theatre was suddenly closed without any warning. The banners went up and the marquee advertising of the building was not announcing a movie, but a sign of availability of retail use. Hoping to save the theater, from demolition and reconstruction, a coalition of preservationists and community groups joined together to support the building and in November of 2008, after it was closed the facade has been landmarked by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission's.
Last week I had a chance to see the main level of the Ridgewood Theater for the first time, I asked the person who is in charge of the vigilance of the building and he allowed me to take a look inside. The first thing I saw was a beautiful column near to the door, the Theater looked to be in pretty decent shape inside. It seemed clean and well cared. It was dark inside, and I could not stay too long, but it was nice to see the interior.
In my opinion I would consider Ridgewood Theater to be included in the NYC’s 2010 exhibition for many reasons, first because   this theater is part of the film history of New York City, and it is a testimony of the glorious past of the American classic film period, second the facade is a beautiful work of architecture and third because represents the changing times in the evolution of the community of Ridgewood

Words cited

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Internalized Racism post 5

           Malcolm X used his own experience to show the reader that his family and he were part of the white supremacy cultural oppression, but after he realized the true behind the cultural standards he changed his point of view and start thinking different about himself and the people around him.  For example Malcolm’s father, Earl Little, was a person who internalized racism and in some way he was part of the ideology of white supremacy, but in contrast he was a tall, black Baptist preacher from Georgia. He was violent with the children and his wife however; Malcolm recalls that his father hardly ever hit him. This is because he was the lightest in color among the siblings at home. While the others were darker, he was the only one in the family who was light skin. As the other Afro-Americans, his father also learned to hate his own dark color and favor anyone who was lighter. But not only the whites were extremely prejudiced against the blacks, many Afro-Americans themselves believed that anything white or close to white was divine. This was evident from Malcolm’s own father’s attitude towards him who had the lightest (in color) among the siblings.
         Internalized racism is part of many cultures today, in a society where racial prejudice thrives in politics, communities, institutions and popular culture; it is difficult for racial minorities to avoid absorbing the racist messages that constantly bombard them in mass media standards and stereotypes. For example in many Western cultures beauty standards in ethnic minorities suffering from internalized racism may attempt to alter their appearance to look more “white.”
  In my opinion several people from minorities in USA are suffering from internalized racism, some of them hate the physical characteristics that make them racially distinct such as skin color, hair texture or eye shape. Others may stereotype those from their racial group and refuse to associate with them. And some may complete identify as white. Overall, minorities suffering from internalized racism, but into the notion that whites are superior to people of color.       
      In conclusion, I believe internalized racism is a social problem that affects all of us and it is our responsibility to change perspectives and racial stereotypes that we have about the society and us.

Work Cited 

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2003. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


In my final project I want to write about something that I really like. for that reason the two options that I have in my mind are connected to my passions as a person, the first one is history and the second one is Rock.

The first event is the Salt March, in India, which began on March 12 of 1930, was and important part of the Indian independence movement. It was a campaign of nonviolent protest against the British salt tax in colonial India, and triggered the wider Civil Disobedience Movement. Mahatma Gandhi encouraged Indians to break the Salt tax law in order to involve Indian masses, including the poor, to confront the oppressive law imposed by British government. But in the other side this march is more than a mass political action. Gandhi saw the march as a pilgrimage, as a living sermon. It was not just about removing the British but to demonstrate what an ideal nonviolent society should look like, how ideal lives should be lived.

The other theme is the social and poetic analysis of the album and movie “The Wall” by one of the best rock bands of the whole time Pink Floyd.
Pink Floyd's the Wall is one of the most interesting and imaginative albums in the history of rock music. Since its release in 1979, and the subsequent movie of 1982, the Wall has become part of the visualization of the modern society in the world for many people. The Wall traces the life of the fictional character, Pink Floyd and the songs create an approximate storyline of events in the life of the protagonist and each one of them are about different issues (morals, politics, identity, freedom, family, love, sex, repression, isolation).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Mississippi Goddam
The song “Mississippi Goddam” by the artist Nina Simone is a powerful folk protest song about the conditions of discrimination and segregation that African Americans were living in the south of the United States.  The state of Mississippi in my concept symbolizes all the social South system and its violence function in the song as the day by day of common racial aggressions. Also Nina calls attention to the contradictions and the hypocrisy of the public opinion, but at the same time she demands equality for herself and the black community.
It is important to mention that artists like Bob Dylan and Nina Simone were aware as well known artists, they were capable of reaching into the hearts of millions Americans so I believe the audience for this specific song it was very diverse. For this reasons, it could be a song of self-determination, warning, inequality, struggle, responsibility, racial discrimination, authority, unhappiness, loneliness, etc.
I think this song was very successful because Nina’s Simone voice and lyrics rest next to the actions of those young people who dared fifty years ago to organize the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and later in April of 1964 found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to challenge the brutality of American racism. And also artist like her, successfully inspire their listeners to not only have sympathy for the victims mentioned in the songs, but to make a decision not to stand idly by and let such atrocities to take place in the American society.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Music in the Civil Rights Movement and in our times

Post II
Question 2

In the book “The Art of Protest” the writer T.V. Reed show us how important was music in the development of the civil rights movement because music was a tool of unity, communication, participation and also helped to spread the idea of equality and respect that many African Americans required from the United States of America. For that reason in many social movements music has been very important in the expansion of ideas, ideals, morals, dreams, social standards, etc.
For example during the 60s music and protest get together and create a significant effect on some of the music that was produced. I believe that certain music and musical events derived from people’s feelings and views about the American society that occurred during the 50s and 60’s. Some of these events include the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, Women Liberation Movement, and society as a whole.
The 60’s was one of the most controversial decades in American history because Vietnam War and the racial tensions in the south, also there was an outbreak of protests involving civil and social conditions all across college campuses. These protests have been taken to the extent where people either have died or have been seriously injured. However, during the 1960’s, America saw a popular form of art known as protest music, which responded to the social confusion of that era, from the civil rights movement to the war in Vietnam. A authentic generation of musicians, such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan sang their songs to encourage union organizers to protest the inequities of their time, creating a diverse variety of popular protest music, which has reached out to the youthful generations everywhere demanding for a revolutionary change. The protest music took the children of the 1960’s to a completely new different level. Musicians of this generation were not going to sit and do nothing while the government lied to the people about what was going on in Vietnam and the south . Instead they started to use art as a form of protest, expression, unity and equality and they became and important part of the public opinion about many social issues in that time.

In contrast the current political music movements are very weak first   because in our current times there is not a solid and strong social movement and also because the Media is extremely powerful so any movement that is growing is put on the market like any item. Of course we have exceptions and we still have bands like Rage Against the Machine and like many protest artist in the past RATM music contains the political and social views of the band members. They are very passionate about defending constitutional rights of the individual and large groups of deprived people. The members of Rage Against the Machine each bring diversity and strong political views into the music they produce. Each member is unique in his childhood background and his introduction to music. It is
Important to understand their backgrounds to fully understand their
Passion for political justice.  But in general the current youth generation of Americans is easily manipulate by the Media (Government) and they listen the music that is design for their specific social environment and they never notice that they are part of the game of the stratification of music and people.
         In conclusion music is a strong tool of social communication and participation for that reason was use in the 50s and 60s to protest and explain the social movements of that time. but later the same ideas and a lot of the musician became part of the new order of fashion music that we have today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In the video Eyes on the Prize the director emphasizes on events after the Reconstruction era and shows how African Americans were living under a “Jim Crow laws” in the South of the USA. In the other side, the video shows how the black community became involved to organize the NAACP to fight for freedom in America and finally create a civil rights movement that help in the development of the African American community as a important part of the identity of the United States of America.
The “Civil Rights Movement” is the name given to the intensive effort to gain greater social, political and economic equality for African Americans. The “Civil Rights Movement” was one of the greatest reform change of the 20th Century and among all its achievements the most important are, the Supreme Court decision in 1954 which declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-1956, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting rights act of 1965.
However, the reasons behind the emergence of the modern civil rights movement in the 1950s have continued to be a subject of debate during the later half of the twentieth century. Many have seen the Brown vs. Topeka board of education decision of 1954 as a break point in both legal and political terms, which provided the motivation for a civil rights association. There are more events that helped in the development of this movement such as:          

* World War II.
* After 1945, the anti-communist mood of the Cold War made militant campaigning more difficult, although it did raise the issue of racist attitudes in the “land of the freedom.”

* The issues of employment opportunities, housing and other social problems in ghettos. 

* Racial tension in the northern areas as well as the south. 

* Activity in civil rights organizations like NAACP and CORE.

* There was some presidential interest in civil rights, but it had limited effect.

In conclusion I can say that all this factors helped in the development of the civil rights movement. Also I want to learn more about different movements in the same time that helped to create a new visualization of the world such as:

·      Women Rights
·      Anti War Movement
·      Hippies
·      Free Speech Movement
·      Gay Rights Movement
·      Environmentalism
·      Sexual revolution

Art, Politics and Protest