Pressing the point : parallel expressions in the graphic arts of the Chicano and Puerto Rican movements. --New York, NY : Museo del Barrio, 1999
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, curator and scholar Henry C. Estrada argues that despite the fact that Latinos are a heterogeneous cultural group, they share a history of colonialism, geographic displacement, internal exile, and racial discrimination. The experience of being an exile in one’s own homeland is especially poignant for Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans, especially in light of the United States forcible annexation of its southwestern territory currently bordering Mexico, as well as its political and economic monopoly of Puerto Rico at the end of the nineteenth century. Out of the heated debates of these separatist ideologies, two cultural reclamation movements emerged; through acts of self-naming, Mexican-Americans adopted the term “Chicano,” and Puerto Ricans called themselves “Boricua.” Artists played a pivotal role in such an articulation of cultural identity by constructing public images of mobilization and political empowerment. Prints and posters were the ideal media to communicate within the civic arena.
Pressing the Point was a survey of prints and posters by artists active in the artistic and social struggles of the 1960s and 1970s. It explores the parallels between Chicano and Puerto Rican printmakers as artists that emerged as some of the most vocal and militant voices of the period from the East and West Coasts of the nation. This also led to an affinity with the general liberation movements of Latin America.