Screaming Our Thoughts: Latinos and Punk Rock


| August 29, 2000

Screaming Our Thoughts: Latinos and Punk Rock

Several months ago, I was asked to talk to an alternative high school media class about being involved in punk rock. The class was culturally diverse, and I was afraid that many of the kids wouldn't identify with, or even be interested in, a subculture that historically appears very 'white.' Just when I thought I was losing the class, (15 minutes into my speech, I got the question, 'What exactly is punk?') I popped in a video: 'Beyond the Screams: A U.S. Latino/Chicano Hardcore/Punk Documentary,' produced by Martin Sorrondeguy, known in the punk community as the energetic and articulate singer for the legendary Los Crudos and the new queer hardcore band Limp Wrist.

Jose Palafox (who was interviewed in the video) writes about this documentary in the September issue of ColorLines, published online in the youth webzine WireTap. Palafox explores many important aspects of this 'subculture within a subculture,' such as how singing in Spanish can be subversive and how the anger of the music is an expression of the dissatisfaction of much of the Latino community, which endures INS raids, harassment at borderlines, anti-immigration hysteria, and racialized police brutality. He quotes Lena, the singer for the punk band Subsistencia, on why she chooses to express her anger through punk: ' 'Because through our music, we can express-we can scream-our thoughts and emotions of all the things that are happening in our communities.'' -- Amanda Luker
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