Superbarrio: Darthmouth

Photo essay originally published online at Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University
“Yo comparto la idea de que tiene que haber una transformación de la política económica, y si la política económica se está dictando desde Wall Street, desde el Departamento de Tesoro […] el gobierno norteamericano tiene un papel sustancial en diseñar esta política económica … Por eso, lo que yo estoy haciendo es atacar por los dos lados. Con la organización social, con la gente en movimiento, con propuestas de modificar la propiedad económica, y con la candidatura a la presidencia, para modificar de fondo esta política. Y sin dar el beneficio de la duda, en la cosa de la candidatura, podemos perder aquí, pero no podemos perder en el movimiento social.”
The Future is Now
In favor of progressive transnational politics via what can be understood as global gobernance, Superbarrio 1995’s electoral campaign for US president proposed that the citizens of the Americas must have the right of self-governance by having control over the US electoral vote. In other words, Latin Americans, and Latinos/as alike, must be able to participate fully in the US electoral process by having a representative voice. Superbarrio Gomez for US president against the “politics of fear” was the logic consequence.
Nine years later, from September 20, to October 4, the “Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride”, a national march organized by labor and pro-immigrant rights organizations toured the US nation. Their claims, the provision of voting rights to non-US citizens. In the tradition of the 1961 “Freedom Rides”, more than 120,000 immigrants arrived to Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, New York, the largest pro-immigrant march in US history. Predictions attest that by 2080, Mexico’s north and the US southwest will unify. The Mexicanization of California has already taken place long ago, now we are in the North East.
“Voy a estar en Harvard el próximo viernes, y me da miedo encontrarme a los mexicanos ahí, porque son ellos los que están pensando en qué va a hacer nuestro presidente, y hoy están estudiando un material nuevo que se llama: desastres económicos nacionales. La gente tiene una politización muy alta, tiene una conciencia social también muy alta, la gente ha desarrollado sus aspiraciones y sus formas de organización. El gobierno no ha sido recíproco con este sacrificio.”
“The problem of NAFTA is not about workers, it is about corporations because they are the ones benefiting from this situation….the corporations take the industry to México because the conditions are different, that is the problem. When the workers can find and meet each other, when they can talk between them, the problem is clear…it is not our problem it is the corporation and the government’s problem. We want to be a voice that identify these problems and think together about the solution. The workers from Canada, the workers from the U.S., from México should think together what is the solution about the problem of unemployment, social security, and work with unions…”
“…una política económica de carácter CONTINENTAL en donde también se puedan tener medidas para las plantas nacionales.”
While John Kerry, Rudolph Giuliani, and George W. Bush propose an America to reconcile either class division or national security promises, in 1995 Superbarrio’s campaign proposed an America comprised of alternative transnational political cultures. Superbarrio’s unified America, in conversation with Benito Juarez “America for Americans”, incorporated the participation of Latin American and Latino/a civil societies within and beyond the US.
“El concepto americano hasta nostros mismos lo hemos tenido que asumir, ya que nos hemos negado a nosotros mismos nuestra condición de americanos nacidos en el continente.”
Superbarrio has been a fundamental figure in Mexico City’s electoral concientization, the way in which winning for the majoritarian class became a real political imaginary. Superbarrio’s premonitory discourse further promoted the possibilities of global governance as the only consequential logic in a global world economy and its centralized accumulation of capital. Superbarrio’s candidacy for U.S. President promoted a cross-border alliance among workers in the search of what are human rights, decent working and living conditions. Because the U.S./Mexico border has been the location to rehearse and promote the dehumanization of the labor force, and NAFTA its later institutionalized model, Superbarrio’s transnational mobilization becomes the wrestling scenario to conceptualized “new geographies of governamentality” (Appadurai 2002). Superbarrio’s transnational activism became a fight for alternative forms of global citizenship in which to keep the mask on means to own one’s home within and beyond the Nation.

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