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Transcripción de Políticas negrxs y redes transfeministas: Narrativas desde Puerto Rico

Intencionando altar con Bomba / Setting up the altar with Bomba


Well my name is Dania. They call me Betún. I'm from EspicyNipples. like, the description is a transfeminist network of Puerto Rico dedicated to tell stories. We are like a spaceship. A spaceship. That's what I think EspicyNipples is.


We are like a spaceship. Like thriving to the multiverse, creating all this stuff that we want to do, that we want to communicate, creating new languages, a new form of telling our stories. And one of the things that I'm most proud of, the work that we do, is that we are Trans Black led, where like, maybe, the only Black Trans led organization in Puerto Rico. 


And we prioritize Black lives everywhere we go, especially in the islands. And when I, when we say islands because Puerto Rico is an archipelago, is just not one island is like three small islands. So to us to talk about poverty is to talk about racism, to talk about climate justice, to talk about racism, to talk about violence gender violence is to talk about racism, to talk about economic injustice, to talk about our bodies, our autonomy is to talk about Trans Black issues and this thing that we have here says aborto libre like free abortion This is a campaign for abortion in Puerto Rico, which is illegal in our, in our Constitution, in our, on our civil code, in our criminal code.


But it's legal because it is a federal law. So that's what happens in the colony. If it becomes illegal here in Puerto Rico we could be jailed for up to 3 or 5 years. So when we're talking about that, we're talking about Black Trans issues. So in EspicyNipples is very important to put the race, topic in the center of the conversations, because when we're talking about occupied territory and colonies, we're talking about Black bodies, especially in the Caribbean. 


And so we do a lot of amazing work. I invite you to go to our website. And one of the things that we were able to do this year is to expand our network and get to work with people with like Pangea PR, Matrilíneo, Entre Putxs. And to us, that's the center of the work that we do, is empowering the people in the islands to do the work, to do it themselves, because we don't need to cover everything, just to make the resources available to them.


To us, it means everything. when we mean resources, we mean money, access to funding, to our contacts, our networks inviting people here to these spaces to us, that means everything. Because the conversation we need to have now is about power. What does power look like in our communities? What do we need in order to exercise that power in ways that are healing and conducent to our better lives, to ourselves?


And like Moré said, we want to do this work now for us. So now we're not going to talk, we want to play, and we want to close with this. We're taking more than the time that we were supposed to, but, we’re going to do a second song in Cumbé which is a more move rhythm, more happy we call sandunga and, you know, the people who know perreo this is like perreo but in bomba.


So if you're feeling yourself, get up. Some are Puerto Rican people, to the Sex Siren Queen stand up. And this song is called La Yuca. And we picked up this song because La Yuca o Cassaba, Mandioca, cassabe, Tapioka it's one of the siembras one of the... like one of the...people just... 


One of the crops. Thank you. that when we go through hurricanes, earthquakes one of the last things that nourishes us. It comes from our ancestors. So preserving that tradition of la siembra of agriculture is for us like life and death, literally. So we wanted to honor la yuca, casabe, our ancestors. And, everybody needs to sing this chorus because it's super easy.


It goes…


La yuca. La yuca. La yuca. La yuca. La yuca. La yuca. La yuca. La yuca. We got it. La yuca. Ok, let’s do this. La yuca.


Entre la yuca y la yuquilla, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Si la yuca se remueve, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Si la yuca se remueve, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Entre la yuca y la yuquilla, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Si la yuca se remueve, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Si la yuca se remueve, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Entre la yuca y la yuquilla, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Si la yuca se remueve, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Entre la yuca y la yuquilla, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca. Ay, ¿quién puede más? La yuca.


Bomba. 



L’Orangelis Thomas Negrón, Matrilíneo y Pangea PR


Saludos otra vez. L’Orangelis de Pangea, Matrilíneo. Verdad, si entendí bien la pregunta. Cosas que me emocionan, en cuanto a mi trabajo. Pues, mira, ahora mismo o en este momento lo más que me emociona trabajar es conmigo. Yo creo que particularmente en Puerto Rico estos últimos siete años no hemos descansado de responder a los desastres políticos, principalmente. 


Así que muchas veces estamos, somatizando cosas en nuestres cuerpes. Aprendiendo a cómo comunicarnos mejor, cómo manejarnos. Así que después de tantos años respondiendo, estando en constante estado de emergencia, poder tomar una pausa para trabajar, verdad, con la cuerpa, con las emociones, con el trauma. Pues por lo menos para mí es algo que está siendo como bien pertinente ahora. En Puerto Rico particularmente, las respuestas ante los desastres son brindadas no tan solo por personas negras, sino también por personas trans, no binarias, eh por mujeres. 


Así que muchas veces, verdad, son personas como nosotras, nosotres quienes estamos constantemente respondiendo. Así que para mí ahora mismo, una cosa que está siendo bien pertinente es poder asumir y promover los espacios de descanso, los espacios de encuentro, los espacios donde podamos ventilar, donde podamos aprender cómo manejar el estrés, etcétera. Así que nada, por ahí va la cosa ahora mismo. 



Dania Betún Warhol, EspicyNipples


My name is Dania, from EspicyNipples and from Puerto Rico. I talked earlier a little bit about the work that we do. I want to talk a little bit about the history of how we came here. because, we started out about eight years ago, and when we started one of the, we came from different points of organization, like the student’s movements some people came from the labor movement, some people came from just organizing their communities. Well, one of the things that were very important to us was to uplift the voices and the experiences of people who did not lived in San Juan, in the metro area of Puerto Rico, where there is all the help or the accessibility needs or the health care. 


Everything you can get on San Juan outside of San Juan, which I'm not from San Juan. There's not even one abortion clinic. There's no clinics for transitions. There are no funding given to that part of where we are. So that to us was really important, especially because we started the year just before Hurricane María and Hurricane María completely changed not only the landscape of the islands, but change the way we work, organize and our priorities as a community. 


So one of the things that we were able to do, thanks to the experience of Hurricane Maria, was to really understand that we were the people doing the work, and we're the people that were receiving the most violence, especially from the places we were organizing from. So that pushed us to organize ourselves. And instead of just being a Queer Black movement, we are a national movement in Puerto Rico, led by Black Queer people, which is very different in a sense, because the language wants to make us just identity politics. 


But we are the politics itself. In breathing living form. So that's what EspicyNipples it's here for, especially in the islands, to remind us every day that we are the power, that we are the work that we are the way. So in that sense, we've been able to for us, it was very important for the people that we're, we were Black.


We were Trans, we were Sex Workers. We weren’t living in San Juan. So when the pandemic came and the Covid, we had, the earthquakes and all of that happened, one of the things that was very important to us wants to go to the streets and talk to people. And that's why, our, one of our main ways of organizing is storytelling, because storytelling can change the world. 


So because we didn't even know what we were going through, we didn't even know our neighbors. We didn't know our communities. And when we went out there. We found the same thing. Most people were Trans. Most people were Sex Workers. So it was the same things, the same identities, the same struggles we were in. But we didn't know exactly what we needed because we didn't took the time to listen to ourselves. 


We just listened to the politicians. We were just reading the reports of the reports, of their reports. We just giving all this information that comes from the United States that doesn't represent the reality of us living in the islands. And one of the things we found through Maria, because we didn't have internet, we didn't have a phone, so we weren't able to communicate with nobody it wasn’t like put something on the internet. Oh send me money through PayPal. Where the hell am I going to get that money? I'm can’t go to no ATM. So one of the main things for us was to understand that the networks that we need to build go beyond the United States and the diaspora and goes into our communities in the Caribbean. So that's one thing we're trying to really focus ourself right now, L’Orangelis had an amazing trip last year to Cuba, which was a place where we want to go and be more in touch with our Caribbean realities and build a network that can sustain us in our geographical area, literally.


And another thing that was very important to us was cash money during disaster, cash money is necessary is important. So that's one of the things we were able to do to distribute cash money to people so they can do whatever they want with it we are not fiscalizing nobody's spending habits or whatever. So to us, that's the main thing of the work that we do as a network, just to build up the stories and continue to put ourselves to the front, our stories to the front, our funding into the hands of the people that are doing the work, which is the people that you see here. Asé. 


L’Orangelis Thomas Negrón, Matrilíneo y Pangea PR


Bueno, para mí, una de las cosas más importantes que me permitió... Verdad, uno de los aprendizajes más importantes que me dio no tan solo de Huracán María, sino también los temblores, Huracán Irma, Huracán Fiona... Por que hablamos de Huracán María, como ese momento trascendental en la organización en Puerto Rico. Pero un año antes del Huracán María, 


el Congreso de Estados Unidos impuso la Junta de Control Fiscal en Puerto Rico y comenzaron todas las medidas de austeridad que ya veníamos arrastrando. Desde los tiempos de que inició la colonia Pude identificarme como organizadora, ¿no? Para mí ha sido bien importante, no tan solo identificar cuál es mi rol dentro de un ecosistema sino también como escogerlo, asumir desde una cuestión bien consciente. 


Yo creo que mi rol en cuanto a la respuesta rápida, siempre ha sido el organizar la información en cuanto a las necesidades. Hay algo que pasa cada vez que sucede algo en Puerto Rico que pues muchas personas quieren apoyar, quieren hacer trabajo comunitario, pero no necesariamente, verdad, sabemos cómo, cómo comenzarlo, por dónde agarrarlo. Pero para mí personalmente, pues siempre ha sido el poder organizar la información.


Por ejemplo, durante los temblores, un poco mi rol era conseguirme información de las comunidades. ¿Cuáles eran las necesidades de las comunidades, de cuántas personas encamadas hay? ¿Cuánto, cuántas niñas? ¿Les viejes? ¿Si son áreas que están inundadas, si son áreas eh, que hay electricidad y un poco cómo poder identificar todas estas necesidades para machar entonces los apoyos y las diferentes iniciativas.


Así que mi rol casi siempre ha sido el llegar a montarme en el carro y guiar por diferentes comunidades rurales que sabemos que es a donde menos llegan, los apoyos, donde menos llegan las ayuda. Esto verdad, y un poco también poder tener una conciencia un poco más macro de cómo las necesidades van cambiando.


Verdad, porque no siempre las necesidades van a ser las mismas. Al inicio. la necesidad inmediata... agua, comida, cuestiones médicas, clínica. Pero ya después de un mes, eh, ya a los dos meses donde todavía la gente sigue sin electricidad, posiblemente sin acceso a agua, posiblemente todavía hay caminos por los cuales no se puede pasar sobre todo con la transportación en Puerto Rico, que es malísima.


En Puerto Rico hay transportación en el área metropolitana y no es tan buena fuera del área metropolitana no necesariamente existe transportación donde tú pueda llegar a x o y lugar a buscar el apoyo que necesitas, verdad? Incluso, eh, FEMA ponía a que llenáramos las cosas online cuando no había señal. No había electricidad, verdad. Entonces si vives en una área donde no hay señal tienes que tratar de llegar a el pueblo a ver si consigues señal y ver si tienes batería todavía y ver entonces si poder llenar lo que sea verdad que que que debe llenar y al final del día no necesariamente eso va a a cubrir tus necesidades.


Eso más que nada es una curita, un parcho. Hemos aprendido en todos estos años que es la gente la que la que nos salva. Nuestres vecines tiene esto la gente que muchas veces uno ni conoce y llega donde ti con suministro. Esto verdad, en Puerto Rico mucha gente dice solo el pueblo salva, el pueblo. 


Y esa ha sido la práctica, constantemente. Así que también, luego de varios meses también tener la conciencia de que pues a lo mejor la necesidad ahora es la salud mental, ahora la necesidad es que llevemos talleres. Ahora, la necesidad verdad es que a lo mejor construyamos algún sistema de recogido de lluvia para poder tener agua en la comunidad, verdad.


Así que también el poder acompañar una comunidad a largo plazo es importante. Y ha sido para mí, la práctica, verdad. Muchas veces queremos hacer un montón pero para mí ha sido importante también como poder identificar una comunidad y poder acompañar esta comunidad a largo plazo también reconociendo que ese apoyo genera que se brinde una organización comunitaria, ¿verdad? 


Y que la misma comunidad también pueda aprender a satisfacer sus propias necesidades a futuro. Gracias. 



Dania Betún Warhol, EspicyNipples


I just wanted to talk about the history, the political history of Puerto Rico, like Puerto Rico, the first place where then, contraception pills.


Is that how you say it? was tested on Black women poor women. And it was like 50 times, stronger than it is right now. We had the pharmaceuticals. We have now solar panels taking over our land. We have Monsanto taking over all of the fertile land that we have to to put our, you know, sembrar. We have Vieques. We have Culebra.


Vieques is still a place where there's a lot of, chemicals are still dying because of it. We have the anthenas to, we have FEMA, we have refugees. And one of the things that for us, they talk about mutual aid, in terms of building a transfeminist network, one of the things that were very important to us was to know the needs of the black trans community in Puerto Rico, so we were able to bring, the hormones transitions that they needed, bring in, another thing that were very scarce was…


People living with HIV and the medications, those things that were not of top priority to the government is the things that we were able to provide, thanks to their network and the organization, that we did through the grassroots movement that we had. And another thing that was very important to us, because there have been years of a lot of loss and we have lost a lot of people. 


So we are currently working. We did a mural of the first Black Trans women in Puerto Rico, Amara, which died because of substance problems. and we are, focusing on harm reduction. How does that look like, especially in times of disaster. So that part of the grassroots movement. Another thing that's very important to build a transfeminist network, specially in a place like Puerto Rico, is teaching the groups to organize themselves. How to ask for funding. 


We that's one of the priorities we have. We did, we were never administrators, but we picked up Entre Putxs and we're like, we're going to we are going to be with our fiscal sponsor. And you are going to ask for money. And you're going to get money to do the work that you need to do. That's also very important to do in our communities, to teach our people, how to build power, but in the sense of material needs. 


So that to us has been very, very very important capital center, to building a transfeminist network , because there's no transfeminist network, if there's no trans people. There's no transfeminist network if people are not even aware of what they are capable of or what the resources are out there. And another very important thing that was, was and I'm going to say it again, cash money in times of disaster for Trans people, for Sex Workers were vital tools. And just given like amounts of money not $20, $50 dollars. $100, $200, $500, $5,000 in cash to people so they can do what they need to do.


To us, that was, life and death decisions.




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