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Rubén Martínez

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Writer and performer, author of Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail and other books. Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature & Writing at Loyola Marymount University.

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Panorama of El Sereno homes
Article

How Home 'Reclaimers' in El Sereno Pursue Self-Determination, Inspired by the Zapatistas

Roberto Flores, co-founder of the Eastside Café, saw a potential solution to the housing crisis in the vacant state-owned homes of El Sereno. He draws on lessons from Indigenous communities in Chiapas to organize for community control and stable, dignified housing.
Protesters overtake the 101 freeway near downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
Article

Excavating the Future: A Pandemic Remembrance

In the personal essay below, Rubén Martínez, host of Excavating the Future, reflects on individual and collective experiences over the past two years since the World Health Organization declared COVID a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.
Mobile Clinic Delivers Vaccine to Central American Indigenous Residents in Los Angeles
Article

CIELO Co-Founder on How Indigenous Oaxacan Knowledges Light the Path Ahead

Odilia Romero, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO), talks about how traditions of mutual aid have helped Indigenous immigrant communities survive the pandemic.
a new development photographed next to other smaller homes in Koreatown
Article

A Place Without the Tension of Injustice: An L.A. Journalist Reflects on Gentrification

Erin Aubry Kaplan explains how historically Black L.A. neighborhoods are pushing back against gentrification. She envisions using the pandemic's "pause" to shape a better future.
Protesters march holding placards and a portrait of George Floyd during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Hollywood, California.
Article

'Now Is the Time to Defund the Police and Reimagine Public Safety,' Says Black Lives Matter Co-Founder

Black Lives Matter co-founder Melina Abdullah shares how the past can inform efforts to reshape public safety.
The border between U.S. and Mexico in Tijuana, which is on the water.
Article

'We Belong on Both Sides of the Border' Says MacArthur Fellow

MacArthur Fellow Cristina Rivera Garza spoke to us from her home in San Diego to contemplate the U.S.-Mexico border, something first conceived in the imagination — which means that the imagination can also be erase it.
Pacific Division Officer Hoskins tries to pry open the door of a truck involved in a accident that left the driver and passenger locked in the overturned vehicle. | Joseph Rodriguez
Article
Artbound

'90s Photos of LAPD Reveal a City in Pain

Joseph Rodriguez’s photographs of the LAPD in 1994 is a deeply personal, political act that still resonates in today’s political climate.
Martinez del Rio performance poster at Teatro Princesa | Courtesy of Rubén Martinez
Article
Artbound

The Birth of a Street Performance History Lesson Combo for a New Generation

In the spirit of variedades shows of early 20th century Mexican Los Angeles, writer Rubén Martínez and an eclectic crew of all-around bohemians have conceived of an unusual history lesson-slash-variety show you won't soon forget.
Rodney King
Article

Ecology of a Riot: Living and Dying in Los Angeles

Rodney and Mike are existential neighbors, both subjects and critics of succeeding Western regimes of boom and bust and busted heads, of magical and haunted encounters with the land.
Raechel running at the border fence near Agua Prieta by Stefan Falke
Article

What Wall? We've Already Brought Down the Border

The walls that have been constructed to divide — make them ours. Turn them into productive forces, dream them and tear them down.
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