The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this essay, Nuyorican artist Juan Sánchez explains that The Puerto Rican Equation commemorates the centennial of the United States invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898. Sánchez writes that the work of the artists in the exhibition demonstrates that the United States “collided” with Puerto Rican language and culture, but did not eradicate its most valuable cultural traits. Puerto Ricans have blended varied aspects of North American culture and have developed a hybridized and transnational identity.
The Puerto Rican Equation (1998) was intended to provoke questions about the effects of United States colonialism on Puerto Rico, and encourage dialogue. To that end, Sánchez invited a broad spectrum of artists in Puerto Rico, New York, Chicago, Albany, and New Jersey to participate in the exhibition and discussion forums. The artists who participated in the exhibition were: José R. Alicea, José Luis Cortés, Elizam Escobar, Anaida Hernández, Luis de Jesús, Lillian Mulero, Martín García Rivera, Gloria Rodríguez, Pepón Osorio, Rafael Rivera Rosa, Melquiades Rosario Sastre, and Bibiana Suárez. Juan Sánchez (b. 1954) is a painter, printmaker and professor of fine arts at Hunter College (New York City). In his youth, Sánchez was an artist and activist during the emergence of the Puerto Rican empowerment movement in New York in the 1960s and 1970s. Sánchez’s art work and curatorial projects address sociopolitical issues, such as Puerto Rican independence, freedom for political prisoners, and neocolonialism in the Americas. The catalogue and exhibition, The Puerto Rican Equation, was part of an effort by artists in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to respond critically to the Centennial of the Spanish-American War of 1898.