"You'd be doing much research and much if not all qualitative. Aren't photos petroglyphs of a sort? How did we get from petro to photo? Seems it's in the human genome to display what we see as we perceive it. So there is a link. The camera in ancient times was the eye, the negative (or digital) stored in the memory, and the print the rock. But all to display and share. Why?"

~J. L. Calderón, MD

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"...overlapping cross-cultural themes. With all my museum visits, have noted cross-cultural similarities...."

~O. Parker, Writer

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"I like that you have taken a subject that you are obviously passionate about, related it to your personal life but then want to add to the discipline as well. I know how important this work would be in social research as a whole so can only imagine what this might bring about personally for you and professionally for the artistic sphere."

~T. D. Nasca, Advocate Extraordinaire for Non-profits

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I have many ideas clashing around in my mind regarding blood, tracings, petroglyphs and visual language. I want to explore where these ideas will take me and my art.
"Is there a way to at all scope this? Is it a personal journey of discovery? A social journey of discovery? A familial/ancestral journey of dicovery??"

I see myself ("you ARE the visual queen") taking photographs of Anasazi petroglyphs in New Mexico & Arizona (where I live)…. taking photographs of Taino petroglyphs in Puerto Rico & the Dominican Republic… and ultimately traveling to Cameroon & Mali, West Africa. I need to immerse myself in the cultures of the Bamileke, Bamun and Dogon tribes. The results will be photographic visual stories.
"I like this - and find it very exciting. Being the analytical me, I just want more sense of the specific "what". You are clear on the "where" and "how", maybe not the "what" and "who". I think this is the heart of my questions above....."

~J. S. Robertson, PhD

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"I've been thinking about this.....

My gut sense (since I have no sense about art, per se) is that you need someway to clearly state why you believe that exploring matters related to your blood history (read DNA) will yield
art worthy of the funding you will be requesting. Also, what -- rather specifically -- in your previous work demonstrates your ability to develop such photography.

more of my 2 cents worth....."

~V. Gurgin, PhD

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"I could see you photographing the wonders of that country, based on what I had seen of your work. But now I know it goes far beyond art, you are reaching deep inside of your self and completing the picture of who you are.

When I first looked at your work I was impressed with your choice of subject matter. I really liked what I saw it was so different from what people usually choose to photograph. I love all the pueblo shots, but I especially loved the photos taken in Puerto Rico. The petroglyphs are amazing.
I can understand your need to pursue this. How did your Mother ever get the idea to submit her DNA for testing? I know that most if not all of us Puertorriqueños have African blood running through our veins, I think it's awesome that you know what tribe in Africa you are connected to and where you can go to as you put it, immerse yourself in the cultures of these tribes."

~J. Santoro, MA, Teacher

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"It’ll be an awesome journey for you to explore with your 'heart' when you visit Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cameroon & Mali, West Africa. Maybe, you will find the similarity of these cultures and put it into your art work. Using what you experience, what you see and then 'create/communicate/express' … just like you say 'photographic visual stories' in an artistic perspective."

~PC Wu, artist/developer/mother

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"Good Luck and I am so glad that with all the whirling dervishness of your life your art is still in the mix!"

~J. F. Henry, PhD

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More Thoughts

I read an article by Mike Toner on the status of the Jacana archaeological site near Ponce.

Here’s the link:

I don’t understand why professors and graduate students at the University of Puerto Rico are not advocating for this major archaeological find: to use this excavation for research training, to start an archaeology department and to uncover the wealth of hidden history about our Taino ancestors?

Why haven’t university professors, graduate students, archaeologists, journalists, science writers, representatives from the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena, from Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos, from the United Confederation of Taino People organized together as one voice in Puerto Rico? To make sure this amazing archaeological discovery of one of the largest pre-Columbian ceremonial centers in the Western Hemisphere will never be reburied. To make sure the excavation will continue, the bateyes and petroglyphs will be uncovered properly and with respect. To make sure artifacts are not appropriated and taken from the island to be studied in Georgia or Florida labs. Why are we allowing this to happen?

I understand that the United Confederation of Taino People’s President Roberto Mukaro Borrero spoke at the Seventh Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in April this year. I also read that representatives from the Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos made a direct statement about the Jacana archaeological site at this Forum. With United Nations recognition and UN officials’ backing, there must be an alternative to reburying our antiquities for some future study. We must have our voice heard—what about discussions on preserving this archaeological site as an extension of the Tibes Ceremonial Center?

I do not understand how we can stand by and let others rebury our history, our island’s ancestry. How can we bury knowledge that effects future generations of Puerto Ricans?

Robin Parker Garcia,
una Puertorriquena, una Boricua