My summer research at Northwestern University was wonderful! The 5th biennial Latino Theatre Festival occurred during my stay, and I formed my project around it. While in Chicago, I attended 7 Latino/a performances, spoke with regional and international theatre artists, interviewed the Festival's curator, Henry Godinez, and witnessed the power of theatre. In conducting my research, I also consulted archival material and read critical analyses and theories, focusing especially on contemporary theoretical writings on decolonization, history, and performativity. Reading about and witnessing these new worlds of theory, performance, and community have truly been inspiring to me! I am so grateful for the opportunity to have participated in Northwestern University's SROP and to have been a part of the Latino Theatre Festival (as both researcher and audience member). At the end of the internship, I wrote an 18-page research paper that detailed my claims and findings. In my paper, I focused on three key performances: Memory of Fire/Memoria del fuego (Goodman Theatre and Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, both from Chicago), The Sins of Sor Juana (Goodman Theatre, Chicago), and La visita de la vieja dama (Teatro Buendía, Cuba). Below is the abstract from my paper... Enjoy!
Decolonial Revolution through Collective Cultural Memory
in the 2010 Latino Theatre Festival
As part of the 2010 Latino Theatre Festival, national and international Latino/a theatre artists gathered in Chicago to celebrate Latino culture through performance. The Festival participated in the "Year of México in Chicago," which celebrates Mexican presence in the City as well as commemorates the bicentennial of Mexican Independence and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution. Under the banner of "revolution," the Festival centered on Latino/a experience with an investment in histories generally excluded from a version of the past that privileges Europe. It is through performing these omitted histories that the Festival created a collective cultural memory—a communion of latinidad. Through analyzing performances included in the 2010 Latino Theatre Festival as well as applying critical analyses of performance studies and decolonization theories, I argue that the collective cultural memory which emerged from the Festival has decolonized latinidad by restoring the past, renegotiating the present, and reclaiming the future.
 African proverb; from Memory of Fire: Genesis by Eduardo Galeano