The walls came tumbling down at ¡Muros Abajo!

By Crystal Contreras

The walls came tumbling down at PCASC’s 3rd annual art show ¡Muros Abajo!, which was held on May 3rd at the beautiful Casa de Revolución.

photo by Pete Shaw

The event featured the talent of both local and international artists and literally included a wall that PCASC members constructed to symbolize those we build on our borders and in between our communities. Ten artists were invited to share their work in the show, including Nina Montenegro,

Outgrow The Status Quo
Outgrow The Status Quo by Nina Montengro

Jerry Atkin, Santiago Armengod from Mexico City, Mexico and Jhonathan Gómez from Xela, Guatemala. The exhibit was also open to submissions from the community and the final works were selected by a panel of five PCASC members.

The artwork told the story of both current and past struggles through the portrayal of

border-busting resistance movements that create hope and inspiration for the road ahead. Regarding the subject of the evening, activist and presenting artist Natha Hurwitz stated “Corporations and profit cross borders arbitrarily and at will; yet when people do the same they are subjected to criminalization and demonization, their families splintered, and their bodies held captive.”

Later in the evening local dance duo Rosevan and Caroline performed their piece “Who’s afraid of the heart?” which showed the necessity of breaking down personal walls as a means towards ending injustices on a greater scale.

This was followed by a song and dance number from Oscar Guerra-Vera, aka Multepah Natalie Disorder, who says “Multepah Natalie Disorder is a Tepehuan drag King that performs to music that narrates the complexities of migration. Lila Down’s “Minimum Wage” is a story many have shared. “Truth Nothing But the Truth” is a demand to know just what the heck is going on,

photo by Bette Lee

honestly! Many share these thoughts and many don’t. Rather than engage in another frustrating debate, Multepah Natalie smears her heart, sweat and mascara on stage to the opera tones, gender-fluid vocals of Lila Downs.”

After the performances, attendees gathered outside to witness the final exhibit of the evening: a performance piece involving the entire group helping to symbolically dismantle the walls of oppression. Artists from the Yourself Collaborative had painted the wall before it was brought crashing down, solidifying the commitment to fight for a more equal and just society.  In regards to their mural, the Yourself Collaborative has stated that it depicted “the moment before the decolonization of the mind.”

photo by Bette Lee

PCASC hopes to encourage the pursuit of social, radical, and political themes in art and to create a space for people to share the work they are doing in their communities. Although ¡Muros Abajo! was only a one night event,  PCASC plans on showcasing more of the art during the summer and is also working on finding a longer-term location to host the exhibit. Many of the artwork is available for sale, including ASOTRECOL prints, in which 100% of the sales go directly to supporting the struggle of the injured former employees of General Motors in Colombia. PCASC meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7pm at 2249 E Burnside St. All meetings are open to the public as we work to educate and mobilize community members in the struggle for human rights and social justice in the Americas.