About the event

How do periods of crisis lead to revaluations of cultural work and new definitions of the essential? /¿Cómo en periodos de crisis se revaloriza el trabajo cultural y se redefine lo esencial? /

Join us for "In Defense of the 'Non-essentials,'" the second in a 3-part virtual event series "Sancocho Live: Catastrophe, Resistance, & Joy" which brings together scholars, writers, artists, and activists to think about how “non-essential” communities, workers, and institutions are responding to the intersecting catastrophes of the present. Drawing inspiration from Pedro Pietri’s concept of the “aesthetic sancocho” each event will consist of short video presentations, followed by a moderated dialogue (open to Q&A) with Puerto Rican cultural workers in the island and the diaspora. We will end with a virtual jangueo where DJ's set the mood and participants can continue building together.

***NOTE: you must register here on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link***

** Events will be fully bilingial with English & Spanish interpretation by Babilla Collective **


Edwin Torres is a Nuyorican poet born in the Bronx whose performances combine vocal and physical improvisation and theater. He will kickoff the event with a poetic intervention.

Melissa Calderón is a self-taught artist born, bred and residing in the Bronx. She has been embroidering as part of her artistic practice since 2011, when she began the series My Underemployed Life.

Teresa Hernández is a movement and performance artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico. As part of her project Bravatas, she is currently working on surveying residents of coastal communities in Puerto Rico about economic and environmental precarity.

This series of events is co-sponsored by The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center in partnership with #PRSyllabus and the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY as part of the The Puerto Rico Syllabus project from the Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research.