Comic, provocative, and politically poignant, award-winning performance activist, published poet and playwright José Torres-Tama delivers Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares, a spoken word performance ritual. With a variety of voices he channels via "duende" possession, he explores the underbelly of the "American Dream" mythology, blind nationalism, and the pimping of fear that has driven a country to the "Dark Side" with raging anti-immigrant hysteria.
You can’t love the food and dehumanize the cooks because guacamole junkies are learning how to Tango by the millions, and salsa sauce outsells Heinz ketchup as the leading condiment every year, states Torres-Tama.
Inspired by his debut poetry collection of the same title, his performance is a clarion call for the United States of Amnesia to wake up from its dreadful slumber, and remember to live up to its press release as the "beacon of democracy" in the free world.
His performance dares a divided nation to remember the words emblazoned on its iconic Statue of Lady Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me …
Torres-Tama explores the psychic, physical, and open wounds of an Ecuadorian immigrant balancing two languages and two cultures, and he performs real-life border-crossing stories informed by the numerous filmed interviews he has developed with undocumented immigrants for the past ten years in the cities of DC, Houston, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Tulsa.
This event is supported in part by an award grant from Poets & Writers, thanks to a grant from the Hearst Foundations.
Sliding scale contributions are welcomed from $5 to $20.