“End the Debt! Decolonize! Liberate Puerto Rico!” Scroll (2018) is a piece of art that runs like a movement, which is to say there are no spectators, there are only participants. We must be creative to hold it and move it in a circle as we all sing together. The piece is performed in community as a participatory cultural response to Hurricane María. The scroll chronicles, by picture storytelling, the resistance and struggle against U.S. imperialism in Puerto Rico and its diaspora. We have witnessed how it opens the possibility of imminent conversations that Puerto Ricans have in Puerto Rico and the diaspora. We have seen how it is also the story of many, and it is powerful in connecting us with peoples’ struggles across the globe. Locally, the piece is a tool for cultural organizing and to talk and organize ourselves about the future of our homeland.
The original, hand-illustrated copy of the scroll was developed over a period of fifteen months and completed at Casa Taller Cangrejera, our live/work and community space in Santurce, Puerto Rico, by AgitArte artists and collaborators in 2018. The performance was presented publicly for the first time to an audience of over 100 during the opening reception of the When We Fight, We Win! /Cuando Luchamos, Ganamos! Exhibition in New York City. Since its completion, it has been performed at more than +60 events – from the streets to the gallery and every place in between, in the context of political education meetings, direct actions, art exhibitions, schools, and a prison. The project includes a 4 part video series and was digitized and archived by the Boston Public Library | Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth.