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La Llorona de Río Bucaná
La Llorona de Río Bucaná
Gouache, overhead transparencies and collage on paper
44 X 61 inches

Pedro Albizu Campos was the leading figure in the Puerto Rican independence movement. Like the tales surrounding mythological beings and folkloric heroes, Albizu Campos’s origin is steeped in tragedy. Before he became the leading figure in Puerto Rico, he was nearly murdered by his mother. Juliana Campos, called La Llorona (the Weeping Woman) by the community, attempted suicide by walking both herself and the then four-year-old Albizu Campos into the Río Bucaná, a river in Ponce. Albizu Campos was saved by family members, but in another attempt, his mother succeeded—swept up by the river and dragged into the ocean. Albizu Campos was adopted by his Aunt and Juliana’s sister, Rosa Campos. While this is a story of sadness, Albizu Campos grew to be the catalytic force behind Puerto Rico’s labor and later independence movements, being dubbed an enemy of the United States. La Llorona de Río Bucaná, 2018 is inspired by the transformative nature of this narrative but recognizes the complexity behind the choices of these two women. Their motivations, choices, and sacrifices impacted not just the life of Albizu Campos but an entire people.