The plight of Nicaraguans living under an authoritarian regime will be the focus of a presentation at UW-Stout to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month.
Professor Analisa DeGrave, who teaches Latin American literature and civilization and Spanish language courses at UW-Eau Claire, will present “Art and Performance as Resistance to Authoritarianism in 21st Century Nicaragua” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Willow/Walnut Room of the Memorial Student Center.
The event, sponsored by Latinos Unidos, a UW-Stout student organization, is free and open to the public.
“Whether in Nicaragua or in exile, Nicaraguans use art and performance to raise awareness concerning the violation of human rights in their country,” said DeGrave.
She will address what the word authoritarianism means in the context of today’s Nicaragua, ruled by President Daniel Ortega, as well as how the political and humanitarian crisis of April 2018 impacted the country.
Through the first six months of this year, a record 111,000 Nicaraguans seeking asylum were encountered entering the U.S., compared with about 51,000 in all of 2021.
In September, U.S Customs Border and Patrol Commissioner Chris Magnus said, “Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest U.S. border.”
Alejandro Calixto Martinez, president of Latinos Unidos, said it’s important to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month at UW-Stout.
“The Latino community has played an important role throughout the history of the United States. Moreover, Latinos represent approximately 19% of the U.S. population. Many people know they are of Hispanic heritage, but they do not know much about the culture,” he said.
Latinos Unidos has about 175 members this year, Martinez said. “It provides an opportunity for these students to learn about their roots and hopefully provide a space for them to come and have fun.”
Martinez, from Reedsburg, is a senior majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management. Vice President Jonathan Romero is a senior from Beloit.