Renowned artists and educators Bocafloja and Mark Gonzales will reflect in conversation and performance, on their explorations of the intersections between the Middle East, North Africa, and Mexico around the topics of displacement, borders, and culture. This conversation will be moderated by Laura Torres-Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University.
Multi-disciplinary artist, filmmaker and founder of Quilombarte collective. In addtion to five professionally edited music albums and having toured internationally throughout 20 countries, Bocafloja in 2008 published his first book ImaRginación. Prognosis is his second literary project. Race relations, decolonial narrative, and the African diaspora in Latin America studies are fundamental topics addressed in his body of work. His most recent documentary; Nana Dijo / Irresolute Radiography of Black Conciusness, has been recognized as a brilliant contribution in the anlysis of the body of the oppressed. He has been featured in BBC, NPR, and MTV, among other media outlets globally. Among Bocafloja’s distinguished performances and academic presentations are” Casa de las Américas (Cuba), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (Brazil), and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (US).
Has many value adds that he brings to the world: storytelling, design thinking, power literacy, and other change making technologies. Yet it his ability to aggregate them all into an ecosystem for impact that has led to a portfolio of clients spanning 5 continents and hundreds of cities. The scope of this work is groundbreaking, as he is the only person in the world to have appeared on 3 TED-x Stages, taught at Stanford, published a children's book with Simon and Schuster, co-authored a methodology for scaling wellbeing, and worked with the United Nations on the power of diaspora communities to transform the world.
Add to this, being born to a bi-racial Mexican French Canadian family in Alaska, and you have a unique soul. Currently, Mark Gonzales manages design thinking for multiple brands, as well as a research Fellow for the University of Washington’s Masters in Communication and Digital Media program. Yet his greatest start up endeavor to date is raising his 20 month old daughter. For the type of world she will learn to walk and grow old in is the driving inspiration behind his work.
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures. She is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and holds a B.A. in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico (2006). She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (2012). Torres-Rodriguez’s work studies the role of cross-cultural investigation in the development of Latin American aesthetic and political discourses, primarily in nineteenth and twentieth century Mexico. Her current book project, Asian Designs: Orientalism and Modernity in Mexico, 1900-1968, proposes that Mexican Orientalism was a key discursive practice in the consolidation of post-revolutionary cultural nationalism. Other research interests include forms of inter-peripheral thought in the Mexican left and the relationship between popular culture and aestheticism in turn of the century Latin America. Torres-Rodriguez has published on Orientalism and translation and diary writing in Latin America. She has received awards from the Ford Foundation and the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn.
Presented by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, as part of the Literary Mews 2016: PEN World Voices Festival at NYU. See
This event is free and open to the public. ID required for entry.