Using Art, Film, and Literature to explore the Hispanic identity
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The Hispanic Identity: themes of inclusion and ethnicities
An underlying premise is that the Hispanic identity is not homogeneous, but rather a combination of three ethnicities: the Spanish, the African, and the Native American. However, even the Spanish identity is not homogenous, since the Spanish culture includes the Arabs or Moors, the Jews, the gypsies, the Greeks and Romans, and the Visigoths. Therefore,the Hispanic identity is inherently one of inclusion. As Carlos Fuentes has stated in his essay on the Hispanic identity, the Hispanics are a mixed and diverse people, so much so that if they exclude, they betray themselves, whereas if they include they find themselves. (1)
One Spanish author who wrote with much sensitivity about the oppressed was Federico García Lorca. He understood the angst of the marginal person or group, such as the gypsy , the African- american in New York City, the women in Spain. He celebrated the gypsy and the flamenco music they contributed, by turning flamenco music into poetry, as one flamenco dancer stated, and by immortalizing the people of Andalucía. His good friend, Salvador Dalí, was an artistic genius who developed a unique art style of the surrealism movement. I tell my students that these two geniuses were at time collaborators but always brilliant in their chosen fields. Selected paintings by Dalí form a good introduction to the study of Federico García Lorca.