(Un)Conference Group Project

Group 8:
Dalia M Perez, Alexander G Blum, Sarah Byron, Felicity Linville and Kira R Smith

On March 16, 2018, we had a blast at the Women Who Rock conference. This years theme was Dance the Archive and it was so fun to be able to get up and dance, especially around a stressful time like finals it was a great way to bond as a group and make connections with our community that we wouldn’t have able to make outside of this class. As a group we learned to communicate our goals with each other and hold each other accountable as the project was completed. The conference taught us the importance of culture but also that culture shouldn’t divide people but bring them together. Community building is an important aspect of this whole project and we are thankful for the chance to have had a space to be free and expressive while enjoying great music. We chose these photos because there was a lot of movement happening during the conference and we wanted to capture that energy. It was amazing to see everyone move along to the beat of the drums and dance along with the instructors. It was important to us to capture those leaders and the speakers that made the night amazing. We interviewed Adrianna and Carmen because we wanted to hear voices of those that bomba meant the most to them. The importance to music to connect with ones past and future was something the both of them taught us!

Photos

Title and Caption: Milvia Pacheco (left) and Iris Viveros (right). Where do I come from? (Performance). Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Making Scenes, Reel Rebels – These wonderful women are using dance to tell an important story about identity and community so they are making scenes through their performance but also being reel rebels by telling their story about a deep social issue.

Title and Caption: Ivelisse Diaz (left), Denise Solis (middle) and Amarilys Rios (right). Bomba Workshop. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.  

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez  

Archive category: Making Scenes – It is important to keep the beat with bomba, the drums speak to the dancer and the dancer speaks to the drums, this is a moment of making scenes as these musicians preformed.

Title and Caption: Denise Solis (left), Amarilys Rios (middle) and Jade Power Sotomayor (right). Jade Power Sotomayor Leading The Bomba Workshop Warm Up. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Making Scenes, Building Communities – Using bomba to connect it with the audience, Jade was hyping the crowd up to get excited to dance. Her performance made the scene and helped us understand what bomba could mean for us and helped boost up our energy. 

Title and Caption: Jade Power Sotomayor. Jade Power Sotomayor Leading The Audience In A Bomba Workshop. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Making Scenes, Building Communities – Here Jade taught us Yuba which is a step in bomba, using bomba within the women who rock conference was an amazing way to build a community through performance.

Title and Caption: Ivelisse Diaz. The Audience Dancing With Ivelisse Diaz. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Building Communities – By involving the whole crowd Ivelisse creates this sense of community and everyone has a stake in the larger movement of the women who rock social movement to create wonderful culture scenes.

Title and Caption: Jade Power Sotomayor (left), Amarilys Rios (middle) and Denise Solis (right). Amarilys Rios Discussing What Bomba Means For Her. Women Who Rock 2019 Conference. Centilia Cultural Center. Date: March 16, 2019.

Photographer name: Dalia M Perez

Archive category: Reel Rebels – By telling her story of what bomba means for her,
Amarilys is our feminist archivista. Stories about popular music and what it means for communities is important to hear. To her music is therapy and is a universal language to help bring communities together.

Interview

Interview Title: The Importance of Music and Dance in Culture

Interviewees: Adrianna Santana Offre and Carmen Offre Bensenti

Interviewer name: Sarah Byron

Transcription:

Sarah: What does this (Un)Conference mean to you? How does it allow you to express yourself? Why did you come today?

Carmen: This is the first time that I have heard about this conference. I heard a lot about it because I was involved in the bomba community here in Seattle for a short amount of time and then when I heard about the conference, I knew we had to come because it aligns with a lot of our values of helping women become confident and [helping women] find their voice. You know, we’re music lovers so we love to find ways to help women find confidence through art and music, and also to create community with music.

Adrianna: I heard that the bomba group was coming. For us, we’re Puerto Rican so bomba is part of our culture. I spent so much of my life denying that culture and that part of myself until this year. Learning about bomba has really helped me connect to my culture even though I’m not living in Puerto Rico, and I can see [the (Un)Conference] and be empowered as a Latina woman and also empower other women like my mom said.

Sarah: That’s definitely the same with me. My family and I are from Southern Africa – that’s where I was born and where I grew up partially. The bomba rhythms are very similar to Southern African rhythms, and so the way your body moves and the communication aspect between the dancer and the drummer is very similar to my culture. I use music as a way to connect with my culture as well.

Carmen: You know what is beautiful about this rhythm is that for African culture and for native culture of the Caribbean, they create a community via music. The festivities are always with drums and always with dancing. Whenever you come to one of these bomba events, you feel that. It’ a tradition that is four hundred years old and it’s still doing that – those rhythms are still creating community.

Sarah: So would you say that this conference is bring everyone together with this celebration of music and this collective engagement in dance and the conversations that arise from that. Would you agree with those sentiments?

Carmen: I agree for sure! The fact that we are celebrating this ancestry, bringing it to now-a-days, and we are still doing the same thing that people four hundred years ago did, in terms of bomba, is amazing. But now that I know about this conference, I’m going to try to come to all the ones I know about because if you bring music and art from so many cultures, I want to connect to all of them, not just mine. I want to connect to the world and create and even bigger community out of music and art.

Sarah: That’s wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Do you two have any last remarks?

Adrianna: I think in the United States, we like to focus on differences in culture, but I think this conference just shows how similar different cultures are in certain way. This love for music and this love for dance – you can really find these similarities and get to know each other through them and learn that were not all that different.

Carmen: That is so true.

Live blog post 1: https://womenwhorockcommunity.org/2019/03/16/im-late-to-the-dance-party/

Live blog post 2: https://womenwhorockcommunity.org/2019/03/17/panel-why-bomba-matters/

Special thank you to our instructors Professor Michelle Habell-Pallán and Professor Sonnet Retman for the wonderful quarter and the great opportunity to participate in this conference it was a lot of fun ❤


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