Garbagia Universe


Loisaida Center is hosting the second cycle of our successful Garbagia Project initiative. The first info session took place today, Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 7:00pm. Open Workshops coming up will take place at Loisaida Inc., located at 710 East 9th Street in New York.

SEWING: Tuesday, August 22nd 2017 – Saturday, August 26, 2017 (4:00pm-10:00pm)

ART: Tuesday, August 29-Saturday, August 26, 2017 (4:00pm-10:00pm)


Gabargia Universe, like Garbagia Island before, uses re-purposing and recycling as pedagogy and practice to consider pressing issues: climate change, the migrant experience and Latinx urbanism. This version will offer three component workshops where participants can hone their skills and realize their final products in a performative exposition. These include sewing and costume making, sculptural and conceptual art, and performance production.

Concept: “Garbagia Island” is a dystopian representation of the Island of Puerto Rico and its current economic and political situation. The story goes along the lines of pirates arriving to an island full of trash, and discovering magical creatures made out of garbage. What it seemed to be a simple pile of waste becomes a fantastical tale for the pirates to appreciate. The pirates who are already filled with music and celebration unify forces with the creatures and people living in the island. The moral of the story is creating consciousness and renaming waste into resource and emphasizing people’s creativity as a tool for recovering gradually from the crisis. We will use historical LES “nuyorican” and LES characters like Carmen Pabón, Jorge Brandon, Bimbo Rivas, Pedro Pietri, Sylvia Rivera, Petra Santiago, Chino García, Silvia Rivera, Adam Purple as inspiration.

Currently the island of Puerto Rico is facing a huge colonial consequence. The people are finally noticing the impotence and fragility of our economy and political situation. It’s very important now to point out to the solutions, more than the problems or flaws. Similar to the self-help spirit of the early residents/founders of the Loisaida neighborhood, the project will emphasize the history of pirates around the Caribbean and their challenging attitude towards how we re-define either/or dichotomies such as: garbage/ treasure, waste/resource, empty lot/green haven, fiscal crisis/ sustainable opportunity, forced migration & displacement/ community building. This way we use our creative thinking into problem solution and acquire a more optimist view of our situation.

For more information, see

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