The Benson Latin American Collection presents «Deudos / Death Debt: The Art of Eduardo Lalo,» a collection of black-and-white photographs by the celebrated Puerto Rican writer and artist Eduardo Lalo. Panel discussion at 4:00 p.m. followed by a reception at 5:00 p.m.
Puerto Rico today is confronting unprecedented challenges. The island Commonwealth’s spiraling $70-billion debt crisis has earned it the moniker «Greece of the Caribbean.» A record-breaking population exodus to the mainland, draconian cuts to public services and education funding (including a $160 million reduction in the state university system budget), and the return of pro-consular colonialism through a budget junta imposed by the U.S. Congress have led to mass protests and confrontations in the streets and greater taxes, business closings, and overall poverty throughout the island.
In «Deudos / Death Debt,» prize-winning writer and visual artist Eduardo Lalo has chosen photographs that, seen together or separately, illustrate the increasing vulnerabilities and anxieties of Puerto Ricans affected by the debt crisis. «Deudos / Death Debt» not only exhibits a topical selection of Lalo’s distinctively trenchant visual work and graphics. It also opens a unique window to make fully visible the ruinous economic, political, and social dispossession that Puerto Ricans continue to suffer at this crucial moment.
Puerto Rican scholars will share some of their research and impressions to help frame the public’s understanding of how Lalo’s graphic and literary work directly or indirectly addresses Puerto Rico’s continuing colonial dilemma and its exacerbations.
• Benigno Trigo, Vanderbilt University, will read from his work on apoptotic debt in Lalo's poetry and drawings.
• Jossianna Arroyo-Martínez, UT Spanish and Portuguese, will address Lalo’s documentaries screened at the exhibit.
• César A. Salgado, UT Spanish and Portuguese, will review how Lalo’s public debate columns and conferences influence his selection of photographic images for Deudos.
• Gregory Pappas, Texas A&M, will serve as moderator.
Following these remarks, Eduardo Lalo will respond to panelists’ comments and field questions from the audience.
Free and open to the public.
(Photo: Eduardo Lalo; text by César A. Salgado)