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Catatonia

By Huascar Robles

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Description

Unscrewing ourselves out of post-hurricane trauma

Customer Reviews

How Not to Turn Away

It’s taken me a day to sort out my response to this podcast, having previously experienced the Fantasy Island performance Huascar talks about, and being very moved by it. I have little personal connection to Puerto Rico, and that show gave me the kind of heartfelt, pain-imbued perspective on PR’s colonial relationship to the US that I hadn’t previously understood on an emotional level. I had thought that statehood was the answer, but the performance made me see that self-determination and maintaining PR’s cultural integrity are critical. SGetting that message merged with the catastrophe of Hurricane Maria—and Huascar personifying the aftermath in the most personal of ways, through the experience of his mother—makes you feel that you must not look away from the situation. Yet, embarrassingly, I do sometimes feel the need to look away…because what else can you do, aside from donating what you can, knowing it’s not even a drop in the bucket?

There was some kind of relief for me in Huascar’s admission that he was planning to film his reunion with his mother, to put it within the framework of an observer in a way, and momentarily remove himself from the direct immediacy of the situation. It made me realize that even when Puerto Rico is your home, there is still that instinct to turn your head fora second, to pull yourself out of a primary equation.

Catatonia is so honest, raw, and insightful. I’m glad that it’s addressing the issues Puerto Rico is facing, and I’m looking forward to hearing viewpoints about what could and should be done, so we’ll all have better options than turning away.

Catatonia
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