Bocafloja- "Memoria" (Official Video)

“The diaspora is part of my essence, from before my physical existence. I don’t embrace any nation or state. Everywhere I go, I surround myself with communities that embrace similar values as me. There’s a lot of work to be done in our communities everywhere.” – Bocafloja

Bocafloja is a pioneer, a member of the first generation of Mexico City’s hip-hop scene. “Somehow we built a platform that developed into a community,” he says. Since then, Bocafloja’s art and activism have taken him around the world. Today he bears a certain responsibility in the action of his art, an ideology that has been built over a decade of hip-hop and world travel. This video tells that story.

<Watch a documentary on the album/project (with subtitles) 

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“Memoria” is the first of a 16-part video series in which each track off of the MC’s recently released Patologias del Invisible Incomodo (iTunes) will be given a visual platform. “Memoria” was filmed between the Bronx and Harlem in New York City by Magee McIlvaine of Nomadic Wax.

Patologias is a concept album which narrates the experience of the body of the oppressed as a vehicle of transgression to hegemonic structures. Every track is connected to the next. There are no singles.

“I think the visual element is crucial nowadays, especially in terms of connecting with younger generations. I want to be able to visually express Patologias,” says Bocafloja.

“‘Memoria’,” he continues, “narrates where I’m standing today after reflecting on all of those years of activity. At the beginning of my career I was not away of the capability that art has in terms of being a platform that ignites transformation processes in communities. Through the years and my own personal experiences and processes of politicization, I started to redefine my perspective. That’s when I reclaimed my identity and connected with certain Afro and Indio experiences, according to my own actual condition of existence, which generated projects like QuilomboArte.”

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“Memoria” makes reference to the novel “La Guaracha del Macho Camacho” by Luis Rafael Sanchez. The novel narrates a balance between popular slang and intellectual discourse and describes issues related to colonization and diasporic experiences.

“I believe that our people have to unlearn a lot of imposed knowledge in order to start a process of decolonization.” says Bocafloja. “Then we have to learn again, find different paths to access knowledge that is actually relevant to our experiences, knowledge that has been denied to us.”

The journey in “Memoria” ends with the establishment of an emancipatory experience.

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“What I am talking about when I say ‘emancipation’,” Bocafloja states, ” I’m referring to the process of recognition of our true identity as indigenous and people of African descent throughout the diaspora, living under a system of values that was designed to keep us subjugated until today, and that subjugation is totally related to the social and economic conditions that our communities live in.”

You can listen to Patologias del Invisible Incomodo at bocafloja.bandcamp.com/releases.

Interview and article by Amanda Macchia.