Biography
Artwork
Writings
Links & Collections
UIC Archive
Home

 


 

Friends & Deliverers, 1992

This piece is intended to resonate with an ongoing pattern of U.S. invasion of small Third World countries, accompanied by rhetoric that contrasts demonic Old World (European or Communist) powers with the benign salvation of U.S. democratic forces. The presence of the Cuban boys in their Young Pioneer outfits is a celebration of their militant independence and fraternity across racial lines (part of the heritage of the Cuban Revolution). At the same time it suggests the potential for submersion or uniformity within a new order....

Panel 1
Background image and text in yellow from "Our New Islands and Their People," N. D. Thompson Publishing Co., 1899, p. 3: “Throughout the Islands, wherever our soldiers went, they were received by the native population as friends and deliverers. Many Cuban boys, rendered homeless by Spanish cruelty, fraternized with our men and made themselves as much a part of the outfit as if they were enlisted for the war.”

Text in white from Columbus and Columbia, op. cit., James G. Blaine essay, “Progress and Development of the Western World,” p. 45): “Adventurous sailors from Europe visited these shores for four centuries before (Columbus) was born...and left undoubted evidence of their presence; but no result for humanity. The Old World did not yet need the New.... America would have been useless to Europe for she could not then colonize this new great wilderness...She was not sufficiently advanced...to take proper advantage of the discovery, and therefore the discovery came to nought, was practically no discovery.”

Panel 2
Background image and text in yellow from "Our New Islands and Their People," N. D. Thompson Publishing Co., 1899, p. 3: “Throughout the Islands, wherever our soldiers went, they were received by the native population as friends and deliverers. Many Cuban boys, rendered homeless by Spanish cruelty, fraternized with our men and made themselves as much a part of the outfit as if they were enlisted for the war.” Foreground image is from transparency taken by Esther Parada in Havana, Cuba, 1984.

—From the Artist Statement

Return to top. Return to artwork.