BEMBA PR is a collective focused on political participation through the use of street art and community action. We promote creativity as an instrument of struggle in the colonial context and of austerity in Puerto Rico. Our proposal can be understood as a social experiment through models of self-management and citizen autonomy, whose objective is to influence socio-spatial dynamics through public art and community action.
From BEMBA PR, we assume a function that is not related to conquest or control of power, but rather the generation of influences in the public sphere, we assume political work as a vocation. This is to say, a genuine participation, which is not interested in the domination of power, but to contribute from a transformative sense that seeks to challenge and democratize formal structures.
Through their interventions, Bemba PR creates a direct conversation with the community that focuses on transforming a public space into a site of engagement, political discourse, and interjection. Their artwork responds to various social, political, environmental issues brought upon through colonialism and austerity politics in Puerto Rico.
These works form part of Bemba PR’s campaign Puerto Rico Before Profit, which serves as a response and counterproposal to the tourism campaign Discover Puerto Rico. This multimillion campaign focuses on promoting the Puerto Rican archipelago as a “paradise” for tourists and promotes the selling of land to foreign investors, while locals suffer and can barely live in Puerto Rico.
Text by Vladi:
When there are no more Puerto Ricans in these islands,
So much will have passed, that we will not remember the corrupt
Who thought the land surrendered, because of a sedated crowd, immersed in
It must have rained, since this bland being
has now been seasoned with solidarity,
and the paradise no longer belongs to the parasite.
The blame is not blown by the winds,
the cone of uncertainty,
and those who threw Bounty, will have their day of reckoning, off record.
When there are no more "Boris" around these parts,
maybe it is time to fertilize the soil with our own body,
and become grateful souls of those who made daily life in harmony with the
Boriken, they imagined for their great great great great grandchildren and
Some day, Puerto Rico will be barren,
every Boricua extinct, along with its species but it won't be soon,
a lot will have transpired.
Like the futile fiscal plan attempts
to scour their lead from our reefs, reclaiming, schools, hospitals,
no negotiation, imposing agenda.
Like hiding our “bembas”, covering our foreheads,
flags half mast, striking our bowels for demanding,
with all our hearts, a country.