Herstories and a Collaborative Future Beyond Tragedy

Iris Morales and Natalia Lassalle Morillo

July 8, 2023, 4-6pm
Géza, 306 Maujer

As part of Natalia Lassalle Morillo’s En Parábola/Conversations on Tragedy, a film and theater commission that reimagines the tragedy of Antigone with a cast of non-professional performers residing in Puerto Rico and within its diaspora in the United States, activist Iris Morales joins us for a conversation with Natalia and the project’s cast. Iris will talk about her life-long activism with Puerto Rican diasporic communities in New York, and about the crucial role Puerto Rican and Latinx feminists have played in the advancement of the social justice rights and liberation movements for the Puerto Rican communities in New York City.

This intergenerational dialogue bridges political activism and artistic creation, where the speakers will share their respective creative processes and discuss the importance of foregrounding affect and care, along with creative experimentation and imagination, in activism, community organizing, and collaborative creation processes.

Image: Women of the Young Lords Marching. Photo by Michael Abramson.

Iris Morales is an activist, educator, filmmaker, and author. Her work focuses on issues of poverty, racial and gender justice, climate change, and the colonial status of Puerto Rico. For several decades, she has been an organizer and activist in social justice movements. Currently, as founder and editor of Red Sugarcane Press, she produces books and projects about the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color in the Americas.

Her recent book about feminist activism, Revisiting Herstories: The Young Lords Party, combines an insider’s perspective with primary sources and research. Morales is also co-author of Vicki and A Summer of Change, a bilingual children’s book, and she is the anthologist of Voices from Puerto Rico: Post-Hurricane María and Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA. These works document overlooked histories, seeking to inspire activism for a more just future.
Natalia Lassalle-Morillo is a theater director, filmmaker, performer, visual artist, and educator whose work reconstructs history through a transdisciplinary approach to research, form, and narrative. Melding theatrical performance, intuitive experimental ethnography, and collaborations with non-trained performers, Natalia’s practice centers on excavating imagined and archived history. She decentralizes canonical narratives through embodied reenactments and challenges the priority of written history by foregrounding the creation of new mythologies.

Natalia earned an MFA in Theater Directing from CalArts and a BFA in Drama from the Experimental Theater Wing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her work is part of the KADIST collection and has been presented at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (Santa Cruz), SeMA (Seoul), MOD Theater (CalArts, Los Angeles), and the USF Contemporary Art Museum (Tampa), among others. Natalia was born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, and is currently based between San Juan, Puerto Rico, and New York City.