Chapter 10: "Si Se Puede!"1Chicana/o Activism in San Diego 1965-2000
10. What role did artists play in the Chicano movement?
As the campaign to reduce border crossings and erect barriers at the border gained momentum across the United States, in June 1984, David Avalos, an artist based at the "
Centro Cultural de la Raza", defied the trend, by spearheading a new cross-border and inter-ethnic alliance. In conjunction with
- Sara Jo-Berman,
- Isaac Artenstein,
- Guillermo Gomez-Pena,
- Michael Schnorr,
- Jude Eberhart and
- fellow Centro artist Victor Ochoa,
Avalos founded the Border Acts Workshop/Talles de Arte Fronterizo (BAW/TAF) and initiated "
pioneering" discussions and activities that reflected the strategic use of art to critically address border politics and imagined a utopia borderless future. Shortly after its creation, the BAW/TAF fulfilled these tasks through a series of "
extraordinary" artworks ranging from installations to site-specific performance art. The actions were timely as the concern with immigration and border gained momentum.
Sí, se puede" is Spanish for "
Yes, it is possible" or, roughly, "
Yes, it can be done."