Latino Print Cultures in the U.S., 1970-2008
This study analyzes U.S. Latino graphic art as participatory practices that shaped collective identity formation. Using archival research, oral history, and visual analysis, I chart the heterogeneous use of collaborative silkscreen over a forty-year period. My project creates an alternative panorama of printmaking and its contributions to latinidad within the specific contexts of Austin, Philadelphia, and San Francisco through the discussion of three graphic objects: La Raza Silkscreen Center’s poster of political prisoner Lolita Lebrón: ¡Viva Puerto Rico Libre! (1975), Taller Puertorriqueño’s poster of Puerto Rico’s official anthem La Borinqueña (c. 1975), and Serie Project’s pro-immigrant print Coming of Age (Transformations) (2008). I argue that workshop production is central to the pan-ethnic formation of U.S. Latinos, and furthermore that artists constitute Latina/o identities from excluded subjectivities: the political prisoner, the colonial subject, and the undocumented. Through a focus on the social lives of printed objects, I explore print culture’s ability to generate counterpublics, alternative political communities, and subjectivities that resist exclusion.