Rematriating Borikén is born from Yasmin Hernandez’ own rematriation to her ancestral homeland in 2014. Brooklyn-born and raised, Yasmin’s art navigates notions of motherland/ otherland. Searching the abyss that spreads in between for ancestral wisdom, she raises liberatory narratives repressed by racism and conquest. Since the mid-1990s her art practice, activism and praxis have been firmly rooted in global liberation struggles, especially that of her homeland.
Yasmin attended the LaGuardia High School of the Arts in Manhattan and holds a BFA in Painting from Cornell University. Committed to art as a healing and liberation strategy, she has worked as a teaching artist with Taller Puertorriqueño in Philadelphia, El Museo del Barrio, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and has taught art to Pre K-12th grade students in Aguadilla. Her project Bieké: Tierra de Valientes celebrated dozens of activists who struggled to end US Navy bombing practices on their island and sparked her fascination with bioluminescence. In 2017 she was invited to exhibit in the “Puerto Rico Bundle” of Occupy Museums’ Debt Fair installation at The Whitney Biennial. Months later she and her family endured twin hurricanes Irma and María and their aftermath. Images of Soldaderas, her East Harlem mural honoring Julia de Burgos, Frida Kahlo and Puerto Rican/ Mexican solidarity, were circulated as part of various hurricane/ earthquake relief efforts. Living through four months without electricity, the fireflies of those dark nights reignited her interest in bioluminescence which continues to inform her art.
Rematriatingboriken.com was born from a blog where Yasmin chronicled the journey home. After working two decades in various efforts to free Puerto Rico, coming home to Borikén taught her that to be of any service to the land, she had to free herself first. The blog is a collection of rants, reflections and revelations of a liberation journey and intimate glimpses into the rematriation process. Rematriating Boriken has expanded into a greater project to chronicle and celebrate the journeys of other rematriators, to demystify the process, unlearn the miseducation surrounding our homeland, and to inspire and support others answering the call back home. She lives and works in Aguada in northwest Borikén with her husband, their two sons and her recently rematriated mother. For more information on her art, visit http://www.yasminhernandezart.com.