Calling to the Ancestors: Garifuna Women as Embodied Archives
a gathering and discussion with Miriam Jiménez Román Fellow Dr. Daisy E. Guzman Nunez, Luz F. Soliz Ramos and Catherine Ochun
March 9, 2024, Saturday, 2:00 to 5:00pm
20 Cooper Square, 3rd Floor
In honor of Garifuna Heritage Month (March 11-April 12), join us for an afternoon with Garifuna Scholar and Miriam Jiménez Román Fellow Dr. Daisy E. Guzman Nunez, Luz F. Soliz Ramos and Catherine Ochun. Together, through performance, conversation, and food, they recreate the Garifuna interior as an intergenerational, matrilineal space that calls to the ancestors.
About the Participants:
Daisy E. Guzman Nunez is a Garifuna American from the South Bronx. Her work centers on the migratory experience of Garifuna-Guatemalan women from Livingston, Guatemala, to the South Bronx. Through a Black Feminist Ethnographic lens, she bears witness to ancestral praxis and ancestral knowledge embedded in the cultural performativity of Garifuna women and their matrilineal networks. Her research praxis and pedagogy lean on the Intellectual contributions of Black women such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Mayra Santos, and M. Jacqui Alexander to discuss the connection between the body, land, and the ancestors in everyday theory and intellectualism. There is an intimacy in creating cultural spaces in the urban landscape. The Garifuna hub in the South Bronx is not a novelty but an extension of the Caribbean Space to include the Afro-Indigenous experience. Her interdisciplinary work centers women’s voices to challenge how we articulate Blackness and Indigeneity in Black Studies, Anthropology, and Latinx Studies. When she is not working on her research, she is a board member of La Fuerza Garifuna and a curriculum consultant with a community-engaged focus.
Luz Soliz-Ramos is the founder of the Bronx-based Garifuna Heritage Center for the Arts and Culture and Co-Choreographer & Artistic Director of the Wabafu Garifuna Dance Theater, which was established as the Hamalali Wayunagu Garifuna Dance Company in 1992. She was inspired by her teachers, including Lee Aca Thompson and Lavinia WilliamsYarborough, and her friend, Manuela Sabio, founder of the Wanichigu Garifuna Dance Company. Soliz-Ramos studied dance and drama at Bard College and now teaches at Boricua College. She has also taught for over a decade in New York City public schools. She holds a Master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is also the author of a language book, Learn Garifuna Now! For information on Wabafu Garifuna Dance Theater, visit: facebook.com/wabafudance.
Catherine Ochún Soliz-Rey is assistant director of Wabafu Garifuna Dance Theater. When she is not fulfilling her mission as a women empowerment thought leader in her business, she is choreographing and dancing for the dance company as well as creatively directing educational cultural events and experiences. Soliz-Rey has a wide background in dance, having learned with Lee Aca Thompson, Forces of Nature Dance Academy, Creative Outlet Dance Intensive, and of course her mother, Luz Soliz-Ramos. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Soliz-Rey has made the extra effort to stay sharp in her culture and pass on that passion to others. Soliz-Rey has a B.S. degree in Marketing from St. John’s University and infuses her knowledge for business and the arts to further awareness of the culture.