Somos Palabristas: Banned from TV

Larry Lucio, Jr. of Amplified Life was one of twelve featured artists to have their work highlighted in the documentary film “Latino Arts: A Community Vision.”   He was initially tapped for his creative work as a spoken word artist with the Latino poetry collective Palabristas, and for being an activist, artist manager, consultant, producer, and event organizer.  But once his performance piece was removed for being deemed “potentially offensive”, his segment was refined to more narrowly emphasize his work as a promoter of the arts.

So although Larry Lucio, Jr. does appear in the film, Latino Arts: A Community Vision, his performance has been omitted.  The following entry sheds light on his experience with the project, from the submission process to the public broadcast, and through the wonders of technology (iPhone 4 & iMovie), offers the public their only  chance to see his full performance as it was meant to be consumed.  When you watch the film, it is important to remember that no one person speaks for all Latinos, and no organization can or should suggest that they do either.


Click ABOVE to watch the FULL film

Latino Arts: A Community Vision

Somos Palabristas / We Are Wordslingers

First let me clarify that I do appear in the film, Latino Arts: A Community Vision, though on a limited basis.

My poetry can be very cryptic and border on unintelligibility when I start going fast but it’s fun for me and I know for a fact that the intended recipients, young people, understand exactly what I’m trying to say.  I do not consider myself to be a professional artist.  I perform spoken word because I believe I have a responsibility to share life from my perspective.

The filmed performance of my poem, entitled “Somos Palabristas”, was removed from the live broadcast debut of the final version for being “potentially offensive”.  Although I disagree that the poem is offensive, I did agree to cooperate, because I truly believe this project is bigger than any one person.  So it would be accurate to state that I was aware my poem would not be featured in the broadcast.  The solution put forth was to utilize the poem like a DVD “Bonus Feature,” and create a discussion piece for educators to engage students.  I have agreed to do additional interviews and help bring this portion to fruition.

That said, I’d also like to express how much I enjoyed working on this project.  I was humbled to be accepted as a featured artist and I’m very proud to be in such good company with all the other gifted artists.  Rodrigo pushed me to submit my work and without him I wouldn’t have been involved at all.  Lorena spearheaded this entire project and motivated me to follow through to the end.  Lisa went out of her way to communicate with me whenever I had a question and deftly walked the fine line between being a producer and artist herself (not an easy task).  She also picked the embarrassing family photos you will see of me in the film.  Well she got to sort through the photos that my neices picked out first.  Yes, I allowed my 5 & 7 year old nieces to choose which photos from my childhood would preserve my likeness on film for all time.  Casey was a great facilitator and helped me get paid & Hector came up with the idea to incorporate the performance in to the DVD so the performance wouldn’t disappear in to the ether.

Latino Arts: A Community Vision (Intro/Trailer BELOW)

I am sharing my story because I find my experience on this project to be extremely interesting and it has presented me with many challenges to assess and analyze.  I will admit that I am primarily concerned about my fellow artists.  I apologize in advance if my behavior detracts from your triumphant achievements.  That is the LAST thing that I want to do.  But I’m pretty confident that I would have their support.  So I decided to film MYSELF performing the poem and then upload it to the web.

I started off by rexamining my poem.  I don’t “write” in the traditional sense.  I make each individual line up as I go along and then repeat that line until it is committed to memory.  Then I add another line and repeat.  It’s like teaching a kid to count.  You start with one through ten, and then progress to eleven through twenty.  I write my poems like that.  I create line “one” and then keep going until it’s finished or until I realize it sucks.  Either way, when I stop, it is memorized.

For this process, I wanted to make my lyrics available for download.  I had already typed them up for this documentary submission process but after reviewing my submission more thoroughly, I realized how poorly the “spoken” part, translated to the “written” part.  At least how I had laid it out the first time.  I realized I would need to make this poem much easier to comprehend.  My cryptic writing and byzantine performance style is probably what brought me to this impasse in the first place.  So I opened up the poem in Microsoft Office and edited it to “read” like it “sounded”, in my head.  I tried to alternate between CAPITAL letters, italicized letters, and even bold print here & there in an attempt to denote emphasis and the annunciation of certain syllables.

Finally, I went out and filmed myself performing the piece.  I tried to imagine what you would have seen if my poem was in the film.  I hope you enjoy my work.


Larry Lucio, Jr. of Amplified Life

Latino Arts: A Community Vision

The films airs tonight on TPT: channel 243 on St. Paul Comcast, 202 on Minneapolis Comcast, and 2.2 for digital broadcast.

REBROADCAST on Sunday, November 14th

One response to “Somos Palabristas: Banned from TV

  1. Pingback: My 2nd Interview: Latino Arts Video Project «

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