The Hispanic Heritage Month Exhibit on display in O’Neill Library’s First Floor Gallery showcases the everyday beauty and vibrancy of life within the Hispanic community through photographs by students and administrators. Echoing sentiments of pride, solidarity, and reverence, the exhibit represents a notion of progress coupled with admiration for the past. As one panel states, “We continue to grow as individuals with a new identity, but we never forget where we came from and how we got here.”
Displaying a wide variety of photos from around the world and at Boston College, the exhibit is able to effectively convey a sense of diversity among the Hispanic community. The individual photographs, coming from Cuba, Costa Rica, the United States, and other places, are unique, as they each distinguish and highlight a specific life or faction within the expansive Hispanic community.
Espiritu Santo (2016), contributed by Carlos Brenes, CSOM ’17, shows a man decorating the streets in San Lorenzo de Flores, Heredia, Costa Rica. In celebration of Holy Week, the man crafts large doves on walls, using various materials like sand and grass. The photo highlights the importance of artistic expression within the community, as this man’s art represents but one piece in a larger celebration.
Another work by Brenes, Espinos, Costa Rica (2016), depicts a man, Sergio Quesada, on his horse, Tango, as they stroll around Heredia. The simple, yet majestic, photo celebrates one aspect of Costa Rican life.
Basilica De Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles, Cartago, Costa Rica (2008) by Samantha Solett captures the beauty and intricacies of the basilica as it sits in the sun, casting shadows beneath on the pathways beneath its smooth arches. The striking blues, whites, and reds of the Costa Rican flag contrast brilliantly with the darker blues of the sky and the softer colors of the basilica. The basilica’s beige colors, coupled with ornate white embellishments, bring the edges of the building into focus. The photo is striking and truly captures the beauty of such an important cultural building.
Elsewhere in the world, Annelise Preciado, BC ’14, in Estudiantes de la Escuela Anaisa, MUDHA (2015), captures students in the Dominican Republic as they go about their school day. These students are of Haitian descent and entered into the Dominican Republic seeking refuge. The school system in place helps these students, who would not otherwise be allowed into the national education system. This photo is especially touching, as it shows the ever-expanding and evolving notion of heritage within the Hispanic community throughout the world.
On BC’s campus, one photo, 2nd Latin American Leadership Conference by the Latin American Business Club, depicts the initiative of the club, as members speak with Empresas Polar CEO Lorenzo Mendoza. The discussion with the brewery/food-processing CEO from Venezuela speaks to BC’s draw and influence, as well as the international boundaries the Hispanic community can cross for culture and business.
OLAA Wall Demonstration (2015), from the Organization of Latin American Affairs, depicts the group’s protest last year in front of Gasson. Constructing a wall of their own in response to Donald Trump’s propositions, the organization, through posters and conversation, sought to call to mind the contributions and prevalence of Hispanic and Latino peoples in America. Such demonstrations at BC call to mind the importance of family and community as these individuals stood up for their beliefs and values.
Visually, the exhibit is effective in its goal of displaying the myriad experiences and lifestyles had in the Hispanic and Latino communities in and outside of the United States. The Hispanic communities stretch across the globe and claim people from almost every nation. Regardless of race, creed, or color, in this country, Hispanic roots run deep in many places. On BC’s campus, it’s a similar story. In seeing this diversity in our world and on campus, we are able to see, in a small part, the larger extend of vibrant diversity seen in our world.
Featured Image By Isabelle Lumb / Heights Staff