Henry Art Gallery
Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Oscar López Rivera: Resistance and Resilience - Puerto Rico's Recovery from Debt, Hurricanes, and Colonialism

A tenant rights organizer and veteran of the Vietnam War, Oscar López Rivera became a leading figure in the struggle for Puerto Rico independence. He was arrested in 1981, and convicted of seditious conspiracy and related charges, along with ten others who were arrested the previous year. Sentenced to 55 years in prison, he became the longest held Puerto Rican political prisoner and regarded as the “Nelson Mandela of the Americas.” As the result of a broad human rights campaign, President Obama commuted López Rivera's sentence only days before leaving office. Since his release in May 2017, López Rivera has continued to energetically advocate an end to U.S. colonialism, and has resumed his role as an organizer, working to establish a holistic community center to train community organizers as well as working on educational and community-based projects to help the island recover from Hurricane Maria and its unjust $74 billion debt. López Rivera also became an accomplished painter in prison and continues to be a visual artist.

López Rivera’s lecture is presented in conjunction with Oscar Tuazon’s Water School installation, on view within the In Plain Sight exhibition at the Henry.

If you have questions about this event, please contact Dan Berger at daberger@uw.edu.

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