"Te presento mi prima de afuera" - K. Maldonado
[Image description: Angélica poses with a large-scale painting by Boricua and Haitian artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. She is wearing a striped black-and-white dress, cedar earrings, and a serene look on her face.]
Photo credit: Yomaira Figueroa.
I am a prima de afuera, educator, writer, cultural worker, and doctoral student in sociology.
After being introduced as "mi prima de afuera" several times during a 2016 visit to Puerto Rico (PR), I realized the phrase encapsulated my diaspoRican experience. I am far-away kin, orbiting la isla from beyond its shores, but always in relation to the island's human and more-than-human lives.
I am granddaughter & bisneita of 'colored/de color' peasant farmers in Puerto Rico, daughter of Mexican immigrant mother who served water to her family working in the fields, proud queer femme, and mamí weaving together familial-threads of survivance, stretched thin by US settler-colonialism.
Prima de afuera - yes, that's me.
Drawing from this relational-position of prima de afuera, I collaborate with other Black, Indigenous and Black-Indigenous peoples working towards climate justice and critical sovereignty in our respective and related communities across the globe.
I am passionate about critical & coalitional sovereignties, traditional Black/Indigenous ecological science in the Caribbean, and how the relationship between settler-colonialism and colonized-subjects (human and more-than-human) impacts relationships to land and efforts to address climate change, especially among small islands.