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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Chicano history comes alive at symposium

    Reading about history from a textbook can be rather boring — a seemingly endless series of events involving dead people from faraway places. Experiencing history, however, is much more exciting. The UA and Tucson community can be a part of living history during the “”Movimiento Ollin Movement”” symposium, which begins tomorrow.

    The symposium is organized and presented by Mexican-American studies professor Roberto “”Dr. Cintli”” Rodriguez and students from his Chicano Movement class. The symposium’s title comes from Rodriguez’s unofficial title for his class. He said the Chicano Movement, while it began in the 1960s, is an ongoing movement that continues today.

    The four-day event isn’t just the standard series of research presentations and lectures. Instead, there will also be plays, poetry readings, dance, an art exhibit and storytelling for adults and children, much of which is based on the research done by Rodriguez’s students.

    The theme of the symposium, according to Rodriguez, is to learn from our elders.

    “”In some cultures, people look at older people as old fogies or, you know, just people in the way,”” Rodriguez said. The whole idea of the symposium, he said, is to have students not just carry on their elders’ knowledge but to create their own.

    Students and attendees of all backgrounds are encouraged to bring their parents, grandparents and older relatives to the events, especially the “”Elders Gathering”” on Friday in the Social Sciences auditorium at 5:30 p.m.

    The highlight of the festivities is Saturday’s concert by Aztlan Underground, which is organized by the UA members of MEChA, a national organization that represents Chicanos and promotes higher education and Chicano culture.

    The California-based group has been performing and touring for about 20 years, and iswell known within Chicano communities and throughout the world. The group’s music is described as “”indigenous rap hip-hop”” by MEChA treasurer Jessica Mejia. Think Rage Against the Machine or Nine Inch Nails but with songs featuring Nahuatl, which is the language of the Nahua people, traditionally called Aztecs, and their living descendents from Central Mexico.

    MEChA is asking for donations from concertgoers rather than charging for tickets. All concert proceeds will go toward the creation of the Huerta-Chavez Arch for the César Chávez building.

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