La Lucha arts reflects on social justice works for 2017 and continuing action into the new year. 
 
 I have continued to create sacred and politicised spaces with youth, immigrants, peers, artist, activist and the incarcerated, knowing that we are redefining the democratic process, power structures and systems of oppression.  

The work took flight in many different forms this year: Prison Performances, workshops at Rikers Island, La Paloma Prisoner Publication, Hi- Arts residencies. Sharing work and facilitating at  the United Nations - addressing global depression, and the Mayors Office, department to combat Domestic Violence.
                                                ABOUT RAQUEL

Raquel Almazan's eclectic career as artist-activist spans original multi-media solo performances, playwriting, new work development and dramaturgy. She is a practitioner of Butoh Dance and the creator/teacher of arts programs for youth/adults, several of which focus on social justice. Her work has been featured in New York City- including Off-Broadway, the United Nations, throughout the United States and internationally in Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Colombia, Guatemala and Sweden; including several of her plays within her lifelong project on writing bi-lingual plays in dedication to each Latin American country (Latin is America play cycle).
 
La Paloma Prisoner awarded the LGBTQ Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Playwriting Prize




Photo credit: Clarissa Ligon
 
La Paloma Prisoner is a multidisciplinary play about the reclamation of identity by incarcerated women in the Colombian prison system. 

La Paloma Prisoner awarded the LGBTQ Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Playwriting Prize. 2nd place prize. More HERE

Staged reading development for La Paloma Prisoner
with the Hi-ARTS Critical Breaks Residency. Directed by Estefania Fadul.  Unlocking Female Incarceration: A Panel Discussion   Part III  followed directly after the reading. 
 
LA PALOMA PRISONER PROJECT: Multifaceted theatre and outreach.  La Paloma Prisoner (The Impacted Women Series) combines women who have experienced the criminal justice system alongside performers to engage with audiences with the themes of mass incarceration. 

Excerpts of the play were performed at Greenhope Services for Women as well Queensboro Correctional Facility in New York City; in collaboration with impacted women. These unique readings were directed by Laura Gomez (from Orange is the New Black).  Co-produced with Mightee Shero Productions.

Connecting the Dots: Intimate Partner Violence Prevention, Healing, and Advocacy Conference   Almazan participated as a panelist for the Mayors office (Department to Combat Domestic Violence) where she performed excerpts from La Paloma Prisoner and spoke to the process of working with survivors of domestic violence and being a survivor herself. 

LA PALOMA PRISONER EXCERPT PUBLISHED 
An excerpt of La Paloma Prisoner
, the play, interview and essay with Alessandro Clericuzio in Performing Gender and Violence in National and Transnational Contexts; Edited by Maria Anita Stefanelli; just published 2017 by L.E.D. Edizioni universitarie di Letterature Economia Diritto, Milano.  
More about the book and interview   HERE  


La Paloma Prisoner (Colombia) is part of the LATIN IS AMERICA play cycle. This bi-lingual cycle of plays will ultimately have 33 parts, one for each of the countries and dependencies in Latin America. 

MORE ABOUT LA PALOMA PRISONER:  HERE


 
 
ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS 2017

Almazan as La Negra 

- Huffington Post article:  On Art, Struggle and Transformative Action
  
The Indie Theatre Fund Prize for Leaders of Color, Artistic Directorship of La Lucha Arts. 

Contributor to the May/June 2017 Dramatists Magazine

- Contributor - Ancestor Sessions article included in Teaching Artists Journal: Free Time: Inquiries into Prison Arts Education. 

- Legislative Theatre with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC. Almazan continues to work with ACQC troupe jokering "Sueno Americano, The Price of being an immigrant". 

 - Short play La Migra Taco Truck produced by Samaritan Road Productions, selection for Gun Plays Theatre Series @ The Station Theatre, IL.
 
- Short play El Buscon about the Dominican Republic's connection to baseball (directed by Eddie Torres) written for The 7th Inning Stretch Festival at Mile Square Theatre. 

AFTERMATH (reading) Cherry Lane Theatre,  #Pages4PuertoRico,  enlisted 30 writers, who contributed 3 pages each to building a full-length play titled AFTERMATH. Benefit reading of the play where all proceeds go to Puerto Rico hurricane relief through co-Artistic Director Janio Marrero's ongoing campaign INDESTRUCTIBLE.

Panelist moderator and curator at Joe's Pub, The Public Theatre
for the post-show discussion addressing the immigration crisis for the production UNDOCUMENTED, produced by Engarde Arts. 
 
 -  Scratch Lab Residency with Hi- Arts for  LA NEGRA  - works in progress  presentation. A unique space to live, reflect and immerse collectively. Dedicated to the living and dead of Mexico. Directed by Fernando Parra Borti. Art Installation by Benjamin Rojas. Hi-Arts images:  HERE


  

MORE ON PUBLICATIONS   

Teaching Artist Journal: Free Time: Inquiry into Prison Arts Education
Excerpt publication titled (Investigative Lesson Plan) in association with New York University, published by Taylor and Francis Group. Read the article:


Contributing to the Dramatist Magazine
Contributor to the May/June 2017 Dramatists Magazine, for it's issue on Retreats and Residencies, featuring the process of La Paloma Prisoner. Read the article:


Huffington Post article
Raquel was recently featured in the Huffington Post for her Latin is America play cycle and recent activism work with La Paloma Prisoner Project:  Co-authored with Dr. Yasmine Van Wilt. More about the project below.  Read the article HERE

Social Justice Arts Facilitation 

The 2017- 2018 season includes facilitation with Columbia University, Union College, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Dream Yard, Repertorio Espanol, Rising Circle Theatre Collective and Theatre of the Oppressed NYC. "Thrilled to be sharing in the politicized space with youth and adults through art making".  MORE

 
CONNECT WITH RAQUEL AND HER WORK www.raquelalmazan.com
    Artistic Director
La Lucha Arts

   raquel.almazan@columbia.edu