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“We are a different kind of refugee. Charco-crossers of a different exodus…. The American dream that others covet has long been our Babylon….We wade, swim, swallow saltwater whose currents still mark the road maps of our ancestors taken, our ancestors fleeing. We flee.”
-excerpt, Rematriating Borikén Manifesto

Rematriating Borikén is a multidisciplinary project documenting the experience of leaving the states and venturing back to our ancestral lands (AKA Puerto Rico, a colonial name). Informed by my own Brooklyn to Borikén rematriation, through portraits, collecting narratives, writing, and community organizing, this project centers those who have made the bold move. Documenting and celebrating our own experiences and voices, we reclaim rematriation as a liberatory act of embracing our authentic, ancestral ways.

Rematriating Borikén works to:

  • collect decolonial narratives anchoring our ancestral wisdom in our lived liberation practices of today,  towards holistic liberation for the collective

  • demystify the rematriation process, liberate it from a web of colonial myths, raise it from being buried under layers of systemic self-loath

  • center healing, love, safety, integrity, sustainability, joy, freedom—tenets necessary to thriving

  • find and center authentic purpose

  • reject the notion that our worth and survival are contingent upon our successful mimicking of the colonizer, or our successful incorporation into the colonizer’s republic

  • lift the voices of another exodus seldom shared and celebrated: the return to our ancestral lands

  • lift rematriation as an underutilized, unexplored answer to the colonial problem of depopulation in Puerto Rico, a problem which the local government has failed to address through retention strategies like incentivizing the return of its children of the Diaspora

  • visibilize those that dare reverse the travels of our ancestors to recover their wisdom and ways suppressed by racism and colonialism

  • foster community and support through the transition of rematriation

  • lift our collective wisdom, ancestral wisdom and the wisdom of our natural environment to craft new aesthetics and strategies in transcending climate change and colonialism

  • explore and promote new liberatory ways of seeing and being