art exhibition of black and white photographs and a pedestal filled with personal items and red flowers

Human Resource Exploitation: A Family Album, 2020. Ramiro García | Elena Brokaw. (Installation detail at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, by Mikayla Whitmore)


Oct. 8, 2021

An evening of Político y Personal

Elena Brokaw, Dr. Erika Abad, Jorge Olivera Castillo, and Nancy Alfaya
Thursday, October 21, 2021, 5 - 7 p.m.  

Elena Brokaw y profesora de UNLV Dra. Erika Abad se unen al escritor cubano Jorge Olivera Castillo y a la activista de derechos humanos Nancy Alfaya para una noche de conversación y poesía sobre el uso indebido del lenguaje institucional, el papel del arte, el impacto del terrorismo de Estado, y la importancia de ser capaz de usar el idioma y la voz individual.

Brokaw es la creadora de “Explotación de recursos humanos: un álbum familiar” (“Human Resource Exploitation: A Family Album” en inglés), una colaboración entre ella y su difunto padre, Ramiro García, un activista que fue asesinado por el gobierno guatemalteco en 1980. Castillo es un actual becario del programa City of Asylum del Black Mountain Institute. 

Este evento se llevará a cabo principalmente en español, por medio de YouTube y Zoom.

Este evento ha sido posible gracias al apoyo de Black Mountain Institute, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, Nevada Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, y WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund, una subvención desarrollada en asociación con The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation para apoyar a organizaciones artísticas basadas en los 13 estados de la región del oeste durante la pandemia de COVID-19. UNLV Jean Nidetch Care Center ha proporcionado apoyo adicional.

Elena Brokaw and UNLV professor Dr. Erika Abad join Cuban writer Jorge Olivera Castillo and human rights defender Nancy Alfaya for an evening of conversation and poetry about the misuse of institutional language, the role of art, the impact of state terrorism, and the importance of being able to use one’s own language and voice. Brokaw is the creator of Human Resource Exploitation: A Family Album, a collaboration between herself and her late father, Ramiro García, an activist who was assassinated by the Guatemalan government in 1980. Castillo is the Black Mountain Institute’s current City of Asylum Fellow.

This event will be conducted mostly in Spanish. It will take place virtually on YouTube and Zoom from 5 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 21.
An evening of Político y Personal is made possible by the Black Mountain Institute, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, Nevada Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by the WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund, a relief grant developed in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support arts organizations in the 13-state western region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further assistance has been provided by the UNLV Jean Nidetch Care Center. 

Dr. Erika Abad is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence for UNLV's Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Interdisciplinary Degree Programs. She has taught courses across the Latina/o, Gender and Sexuality, and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs. She has created courses exploring mother and daughter dynamics through a Latina feminist lens, in addition to exploring race, gender, and sexuality in media representation and fandom.  She’s been featured in local news outlets talking about the significance of Latinx, queer of color characters, and the lasting impact of Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art exhibits.

Elena Brokaw is a Creative Writing MFA candidate in Literary Nonfiction at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Periplus Fellow. She created the museum exhibition Human Resource Exploitation: A Family Album after researching the events that led to the assassination of her father, Ramiro García, in 1980. 

Jorge Olivera Castillo is a poet, writer, television editor, journalist, and songwriter. For more than twenty-five years, Olivera Castillo worked as an independent journalist before being fired from The Cuban Institute of Radio and Television, due to his ideas and activities in support of freedom of speech. He became a political prisoner because of his journalistic work and was incarcerated for almost two years, including nine months of solitary confinement. Olivera Castillo has published six books of poetry and two short story collections. His literary works have been translated into several languages, including English, Italian, Czech, and Polish. At present, Olivera Castillo is writing his third collection of short stories, based on his experiences as a soldier in the African jungle during the Angolan Civil War. He has also completed a new collection of poetry and publication is forthcoming.

Nancy Alfaya has been working for human rights for over twenty years: repeatedly intimidated, arrested, and detained by the authorities in her native Cuba. After her husband Jorge Olivera Castillo was imprisoned as a political dissident in 2003 she co-founded the Ladies in White, a group of mothers, wives, and daughters of political prisoners who marched for peace and justice. She is a cultural promoter for the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists and the coordinator of the Network of Women for Equality, an organization associated with the Citizen Committee for Racial Integration. Alfaya works to empower socially disadvantaged women with a special focus on Black Cubans.