Esta Tierra es Nuestra Tierra
This Land is Our Land
On the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy unveils a newly commissioned mural entitled “Esta Tierra Es Nuestra Tierra” and celebrate this newly envisioned monument with a “LatinXtravaganza” family festival at FDR Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island, October 7th from 11:00am-4pm. Curated by award-winning writer Xochitl Gonzalez, and featuring a large-scale public art installation by artist Mata Ruda, this program invites visitors to celebrate the diversity of the Latino experience in America.
The Faces of Esta Tierra es Nuestra Tierra
Freedom from fear — She protected countless transgender women from being trafficked, of falling ill, of being deported.
Freedom from religion — As a writer, educator, cultural leader and Yoruba priestess, she has done significant work to destigmatize Santeria and other Afro-disaporic faiths.
Freedom from want — For 14 years, the Brooklyn bodega owner turned his basement into a makeshift homeless shelter for men who had fallen on hard times.
Freedom from speech — From our past, a Brooklynite turned freedom-fighter, jailed for speaking in defense of Puerto Rican liberation under the gag laws of the late 1940s.
The last figure on the mural is a dreamer who represents an “every man” who refuses to be relegated to the margins.
Continue reading to learn more about Xochitl Gonzalez & Mata Ruda.
XOCHITL GONZALEZ is the New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming. Named a Best of 2022 by The New York Times, TIME, Kirkus, Washington Post, and NPR, Olga Dies Dreaming was the winner of the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize in Fiction and The New York City Book Awards. Her new novel, Anita de Monte Laughs Last, is forthcoming in March 2024 with Flatiron Books. Gonzalez is a 2021 M.F.A. graduate from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. As a staff writer for The Atlantic, she was recognized as a 2023 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary. A native Brooklynite and proud public school graduate, Gonzalez holds a BA from Brown University and lives in her hometown of Brooklyn with her dog, Hectah Lavoe.
MATA RUDA (Karlito Miller Espinosa) is an artist who lives and works in the Southern Arizona U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. He was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, to American-Colombian and Costa Rican Parents. He lived in Venezuela until he was 11 years old when he moved with his family to the east coast of the United States. He creates paintings, public murals, objects and installations informed by the direct relationship between capitalism and the structuring role violence plays in its preservation. His studio practice pays particular attention to the absence, loss, migrations and transformations motivated by the inherent contradictions embedded within the social structures of society.
Karlito participated in the 2020 Whitney Independent Study Program through the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY. He received his MFA from The University of Arizona in 2019 and his BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2012.
Due to high probability of heavy rain, LatinXtravaganza is cancelled. Thank you and hope we will see you in 2024!
In conjunction with Esta Tierra es Nuestra Tierra, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy is hosting LatinXtravaganza – a family festival at FDR Four Freedoms State Park on Roosevelt Island, October 7th from 11:00am-4pm. Curated by award-winning writer Xochitl Gonzalez, and featuring a large-scale public art installation by artist Mata Ruda, this program will invite us to celebrate the diversity of the Hispanic and Latino experience in America. Learn more and RSVP here.
Creation of Esta Tierra es Nuestra Tierra
- Lorena Borjas – https://www.newyorker.com/news/postscript/remembering-lorena-borjas-the-mother-of-a-trans-latinx-community
- Marta Moreno-Vega – https://martamorenovega.org/
- Candido Anchángel – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/nyregion/homeless-shelter-bodega-nyc-brooklyn.html
- Olga Garriga – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olga_Viscal_Garriga
- Deportations of Mexican Citizens – https://ny.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/03aba0cf-1bfa-4443-b049-e27ed718ede7/deportations/
- The Living New Deal – https://livingnewdeal.org/newsletters/august-2023/
- See Xochitl’s essay for additional information