(Cover Art for "Rhymes for Treason" CD, Welfare
Acrylic/ collage on watercolor paper
10" x 10"
This image was designed for the "Rhymes for Treason"
album by the Welfare Poets, 2005. Considering the theme of treason and
using words or rhymes to speak out against injustice, the image of the
screaming Puerto Rican Nationalist leader, Pedro Albizu Campos came to
mind. The Welfare Poets had asked that I also consider the image of a
burning U.S. flag to represent the treason element, as well as some text
from the U.S. constitution. The final design represents Albizu's scream
igniting the American flag. His monochromatic face is appearing from the
sky against which both the Puerto Rico and U.S. flags wave. Colonial law
in Puerto Rico requires that our flag be waved alongside the American
flag at all times. This is something that independentistas are strictly
opposed to. Here, the fire of Albizu's voice and spirit set the American
flag aflame. The background includes the collaged inverted text of the
Founders Hector Rivera and Ray Ramirez of the Welfare Poets
were students at Cornell University, when I arrived there as a freshman
in 1993. As part of a mere 10% Latino undergraduate population we quickly
became part of a community that worked together to spread awareness about
our history through activism and the arts: I with paintings and they with
congas and poems. Since then, the Welfare Poets has expanded from 2 to a
dozen artists. For more information visit: www.welfarepoets.com.
© Copyright 2004-2015
Yasmin Hernandez. Under no circumstances should any of the images or content
of this site be downloaded, printed or reproduced without direct permission
from the artist.