In this course, students will explore the Puerto Rican community of visual storytellers; a space where artists and activists have communicated social and political issues that face the island territory. You’ll examine the various channels through which these artists navigate—the formal, informal, traditional, and nontraditional art spaces—and how these artistic voices have continued in communities off the island.
Before departing, students will research the island and engage with Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community to help them develop active observational skills and critical thinking in recognizing social and political influences of visual communication.
There is no language requirement for this program, but we encourage students to use their existing Spanish-language skills during their time away. Students will earn three credits in the program, which is structured as follows.
- The first seven weeks of the spring semester the class will meet twice a week.
- During spring break, the group will have an immersive experience in Puerto Rico.
- After spring break, students will have two additional meetings for final project review, excursion reflections and presentations.
No previous experience with art, multimedia or photography tools is necessary. Students will be able to use tools already available to them, such as a smartphone, to capture visuals and translate them into stories and class projects.