Soñamos Juntos: A March Towards the Future
On Saturday, April 27th at Washington Park Chuy Zuniga and los Tres Hermanos led the second annual Las Imaginistas Dream Parade, playing their bajo sexto and accordion. The now yearly Taller de Permiso tradition emerged as a way to pay tribute to the radical power of dreaming and the imaginative ingenuity of immigrants and residents of the RGV. With their songs and joy the musicians seemed to part the city streets for the marchers who followed in the wake. Artist, Josué Ramirez performed along to the rhythm of the accordion, creating a swoosh of tablecloth cutouts flowing magically in the wind as he danced in his Pinata People costume. Three people wearing sculptural costumes weaved in and out of the crowd, creating a visual landscape of dreams, ideas and possibilities floating through the historic downtown.
One of the Hermanos was carrying an amplifier connected to his accordion. A fellow marcher noticed him struggling a bit, and offered support by carrying the equipment for the rest of the march.
We were joined by activist groups like el Comité de Trabajadoras del Hogar de Furza del Valle, and student organizations like Texas Rising and La Union Chicanx Hijxs de Aztlan. Marchers chanted about coming together to envision the future of our city, and about working together to achieve our community’s dreams. Rosa San Luis from Fuerza del Valle led us in her favorite call and response dream chant:
¿Duenos de que?
¡De nuestros sueños!
Who are we?
We are in charge!
In charge of what?
Of our dreams!
This year’s Dream Parade coincided with the culminating event for our Hacemos la Ciudad project, Soñamos Juntos: March into the Future. The march ended at Market Square, where we unveiled our model-to-scale of Downtown Brownsville and the Plan de Arte Civico to city officials, both based on ideas about the future of Brownsville collected from more than 200 community members.
The event also included performances about the future from community members, including City Commissioner Ben Neece, as well as live music, and a dance performance led by Caty Wantland from the Camille Playhouse.
Combined, the music, the sculptural costumes, the chanting, and the movements of people created a tablou of dreams and change, providing a glimpse into the future of equity in our region. As project researcher and long time artist and resident of Brownsville Claudia Michelle serrano put it:
“Participants got to see things that would never happen otherwise. It was like the project became one of the community’s dreams: A group of people marching down the street saying “The city is ours.” is so radical. The Latinx consciousness is one that is always told you need to be proper all the time and in that parade we claimed our right to shape the city.”
Visit our Hacemos la Ciudad page to learn more about this project, and keep an eye out for more information on the forthcoming Hacemos la Ciudad art and civic practice reading groups.