Screaming Our Thoughts: Latinos and Punk Rock

Screaming Our Thoughts: Latinos and Punk

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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