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Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies Summer Program

A weekly online and social gathering for the Purchase College Community to discuss films and topics related to Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies.
Every Tuesday from July 6 to August 10, 2021 6:00–8:00pm, via zoom

Register Here!

This summer program offers an online weekly social and cultural gathering that seeks to bring all members of the Purchase College community to discuss films, short stories, and invite guest speakers on a variety of topics related to Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinx history, society, and culture. This series is a continuation of the summer program created last year and well-attended by incoming and current students, alumni, faculty, seniors, as well as the general public. The goal of the program is to replicate this experience to build community and expand our reach to the general public with activities that are academically sound, intellectually engaging, and that bring people together through the discussion of relevant topics.



Tuesday, July 6th - Los Sures: Puerto Rican New York and the Gentrification of the City

Screening of “Los Sures” (Diego Echeverria, 2016, 58’) via Amazon Prime, followed by discussion with the audience.

We will look back to New York City in the 1970s and early 1980s, a time when Williamsburg, NY, was a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood. The documentary is a beautiful portrait that celebrates the vitality of a largely Puerto Rican & Dominican community, showing the strength of culture, creativity, and determination to overcome a desperate situation in South Brooklyn of the 1980s. As Williamsburg, NY has been gentrified in the last decade, we seek to explore the memory of New York, the absences, and the current life and struggles of Latinxs in New York.

***Membership to Amazon Prime is recommended in order to access the movie***


Tuesday, July 13th - An American in Buenos Aires: A Conversation with Christine Brebes

Violin player Christine Brebes will join us to talk about her experience leaving Kansas City and settling down in Buenos Aires, Argentina, following her passion for tango music. Arriving in Argentina in 2002, she began playing with acclaimed tango orchestras and rock musicians, and was part of the band of renown Argentine rock and pop artist, Charly Garcia. A graduate from University of Northern Iowa, her life experience as a musician following her passion is a great inspiration for many of our students at Purchase College. The conversation (with Leandro Benmergui, Purchase faculty) will touch upon these different aspects of Christine’s life as a musician in the world of tango and rock in Argentina and will include recorded performances.


Tuesday, July 20st Aquarius: Class, Race, and Gentrification in Northeastern Brazil with guest speaker Dr. Paula Halperin

Screening of “Aquarius” (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2016) via Amazon Prime. Aquarius: Clara, 65, lives her life to the fullest with her family and friends. A construction company wants her Recife oceanfront condo, as they’ve already bought all the other in the 3-story building. Clara’s staying.

Followed by discussion with audience with Dr. Paula Halperin (PhD History). Halperin is a film historian and the Director of the School of Film and Media Studies at Purchase College. Her research focuses on media, history, and the public sphere in Brazil during the twentieth century. She has published a range of essays on cinema, television, race, gender, and the process of “being Brazilian.” Her articles have appeared in academic journals in the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. She also writes film criticism for websites and blogs.


Tuesday, July 27th – A Musical Journey through Latin American with Emiliano Messiez

Pianist and composer Emiliano Messiez will introduce us to a journey through Latin American music with live music. A review of different genres from the region, influences, and a live performance from this acclaimed musician from Latin America. Emiliano Messiez Pianist and composer (University of the Arts and The School of Popular Music in Buenos Aires, Argentina). Assistant Professor of Counterpoint, Harmony and Music History at the University of the Arts in Buenos Aires. Emiliano has performed around the world in the most prestigious venues such as Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum in New York, among many others. He is the pianist of the show “Forever Tango” and his own orchestra “Típica Messiez”. As teacher he has been giving lectures and workshops for many years. He has been awarded by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO for his album “Silencio” recorded with the José Luis Infantino Group.


Tuesday, August 3th Visiting Ouro Preto, the first Brazilian World’s Heritage Site, with Architect and Historian Fernando Atique (Brazil)

Ouro Preto is a city situated in the middle of the mountains in southeast Brazil, and it plays a remarkable role inside the Brazilian cultural and political history. Founded by miners during the colonial period, in the 17th century, the locality was known for the name “Vila Rica” (Rich Town) because of its high level of gold. Vila Rica was an important town in the colonial period that attracted artists, artisans, musicians, politicians, and many other actors that organized a unique and important architectural legacy. During the 20th century, the city was declared Brazilian National Monument, and was listed, as one of the most important places for the Baroque culture in Americas by UNESCO, receiving in 1980, the title of World’s Heritage Site. We will present the city and the controversies around its conservation during the last decades trying to understand how tourism and heritage troubled the daily life of this old town.

Fernando Atique (Ph.D. on History and Social Foundations of Architecture and Urbanism) is Associate Professor of History, Space and Built Heritage at Federal University of São Paulo - UNIFESP. He was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania and a visiting scholar in the Department of History at New York University (2016). He is a founding member of the Ibero-American Association of Urban History - AIHU. He is the coordinator of the research group CAPPH - City, Architecture and Historic Preservation.


Tuesday, August 10th - Memory, Indigenous Past, and Dictatorship in Chile

Screening of “The Pearl Button” (Chile, Patricio Guzmán Brazil, 2016) via Amazon Prime, followed by discussion with the audience.

Goals: to explore issues of memory of the past dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990) with a beautiful documentary by acclaimed Chilean director Patricio Guzmán. The Pearl Button explores familiar Guzmán themes such as memory and the historical past, particularly that of history’s losers rather than victors, recording some of the last surviving members of the original Alacalufe and Yaghan tribes. A departure for Guzmán is that it does not focus solely on Chile’s past under Augusto Pinochet, as the title was partly inspired by a shirt button discovered during a 2004 investigation by Chilean judge Juan Guzmán on a length of rail used to weigh the bodies of Pinochet’s victims dumped in the sea and partly by the button after which the Yaghan native Jemmy Button was named when taken aboard HMS Beagle in 1830.