A report by Ivette Feliciano for Art Beat.
As Puerto Rico faces a $70 billion debt crisis, a poverty rate three times that of the U.S., borderline-insolvent public health care and retirement systems and a subsequent mass exodus, a longstanding debate has reignited over the merits of U.S. citizenship.
In New York City, artists are grappling with these issues at “CitiCien,” an exhibit at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Jones Act, a 1917 law that granted citizenship to people born in Puerto Rico. (The exhibit’s name combines the words “citizen” and “cien,” the Spanish word for 100.)“Many of us have had to fight for our identity wherever we go, but wherever we go, we carry hope with us. It walks with us.” — Artist Jean Oyola
Puerto Rico’s status as a commonwealth of the U.S. means…
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