Keep the Pulse. The One Orlando Collection Review

Keep the Pulse. The One Orland Collection The Orange County Regional History Center, February 17, 2020

Keep the Pulse is a digital gallery honoring the victims and survivors of the June 12, 2016 mass murder at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The home page provides us with an image of a vigil with brief text describing the digital library and asking the site’s visitors to #Rememberthe49. Its imagery and sparse description is impactful, setting the tone for the rest of the website. If you scroll down, more information is provided, including the victims and their names, and access to the digital library, which commemorates the lives of the victims, as well as the LGBTQIA+ community coming together to mourn and rise up. The rest of the homepage provides information on the conservation process and how one can connect on social media, volunteer, or donate. Keep the Pulse is a heartfelt tribute to the victims and survivors of June 12, 2016 that inspires visitors to reflect and support the community of Orlando.

The Homepage to “Keep the Pulse.” sets a somber and reflective tone.

When arriving to the homepage of Keep the Pulse and seeing the photo of the vigil, visitors to the site will notice the care and reverence taken to make the digital gallery a place for reflection and respect. The name of the gallery is located on the top left of the homepage in white serif font with the colors of the LGBTQIA+ flag running vertically to its left side. The title is modestly sized, giving up most of the screen to the photo of the vigil outside Pulse nightclub. In a transparent text box is the headline: #Rememberthe49. Below it is a brief description of the digital gallery and the curators. Giving the photograph of the vigil space provides visitors with a moment of reflection, as well as setting the tone for the rest of the site. On the top right of the screen is the menu bar. Right below it is the option to view the sight in Spanish. The Spanish option is an important act of inclusivity. Most of the victims of June 12 were Latinx, making the incident one that affected both the Latinx and LGBTQIA+ communities and all the intersectionalities in between. Scrolling down, the site provides access to the digital library and images of the 49 victims.

The ‘About Page’ on Keep the Pulse provides a brief description about the incident at Pulse Nightclub and shares photos of the 49 victims of that tragic night.

Scrolling down the page, the digital library provides images of the 49 victims. The highlighted image provides the name of the victim. It is here that I have my only critique of the website. I wish there were a brief bio about the victim or anecdotes written by found or biological families. I would also prefer that each image provide links to other artifacts in the digital library that are connected to the specific victim. There are several links that provide access to the digital gallery, where one can view all the artifacts or filter by category or by victim. I like the options for filtering, but people who aren’t part of the queer Orlando community may not know the victims personally. The filtering option only provides names. I would suggest providing images as well. Providing a face to the name when looking through the artifacts would humanize the experience further. After looking through the gallery, there are links that provide further information on the project, or next steps visitors would want to take.

Visitors to the Keep the Pulse digital gallery have the option to take further actions after reflecting on the events of June 12, 2016. For further information on the website’s construction, the Orange County Regional History Center provides a summation of how the gallery came to be. There isn’t a page about their ethical approach, which I feel is missing, but the site does contact information in case visitors have further questions. The digital gallery also invites people to share their reflections on social media with #Rememberthe49. The site provides suggestions, events, general information about nonprofits, and frequently asked questions. The people behind the site have considered various site visitors and provide information that will help people contribute as much, or as little, as they can.

Keep the Pulse has remained active and it appears it will continue to be active as we enter the fourth anniversary of the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub. This digital history is preserving the events of June 12th so that it won’t be soon forgotten. The site is easily navigable and provides a sense of reflection and reverence that the victims deserve. Visitors to the site can honor the victims by looking through the gallery, or taking further action, depending on their resources. The site stresses acts of love and kindness, and this digital gallery is emblematic of that notion.

Exploring the Chicago Latino ArTchive

Chicago Latino ArTchive: A Century of Chicago Latino Art Organized by the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) headquartered at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Reviewed January 27, 2020.

Growing up in Chicago, I may have taken for granted the easy access I had to history, art, and culture. The city is rich in heritage and there are various organizations that help preserve a specific cultural group’s identity and impact upon the city. The National Museum of Mexican Art, for example, is a cornerstone of the Pilsen neighborhood. In my own backyard, I had the privilege of having access to an institution that helps celebrate Chicago’s Latinx community. The amount of work Latinxs have created is impressive. The museum is a well curated body of work, but it isn’t representative of all the work Chicagoans have contributed to the city’s culture. The Chicago Latino ArTchive, a repository for Chicago based Latinx works of art, was created by the Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) to provide people with easy access to works of art, specific artists, or different time periods of Chicago Latinx art. Those who haven’t had the privilege of visiting the Nation Museum of Mexican Art, or those who want to explore Chicago Latinx art more fully, can explore the digital repository to find great works of art, which explores a more encompassing body of work that the NMMA can’t house. The repository features the work of prominent artists who were either born in Chicago or settled there. One can explore an artist’s portfolio, a specific time in the city’s history, and other exploratory options. The repository is a great start to begin research, but is limited to providing basic information without further contextualization.

The Chicago Latino ArTchive provides a home page explaining the scope of the project. First uploaded in the fall of 2016, the ArTchive celebrates all the contributions Latinxs have had in Chicago over the last century. The repository provides artist portfolios, the artist’s statement (if they provided one), biographical information, and links to artists’ personal sites. After reading the brief introductory paragraph, a list of sponsors and/or stakeholders is provided. The National Museum of Mexican Art, as well as the local Telemundo affiliate, are sponsors. After reading all that the home page provides, one can enter the ArTchive.

After entering the ArTchive, a list of the artists included in the repository is provided. The Artists’ information is provided via four different columns: Name, Gender, Country of Origin, and Decades in Chicago. Each column can be manipulated to group artists in different categories. For example, if someone wanted to explore the works of Latina artists, the Gender column will separate the artists by gender. Similarly, if someone wanted to research current artists, the Decades in Chicago column would provide easy access to artists working since 2000. By clicking on the individual artist’s name, one can enter that specific artist’s portfolio, see some samples of their work, read their statement, bio information, and visit their personal website(s), if they provided it.

Though the repository is a great introduction to artist’s work, it also has several limitations. For example, there are artists who lack bio information, an artist statement, and/or links to other sites where one can explore their work further. It seems like a lot of artists who contributed, provided as much information as they wanted. This is understandable, however, the artists who contributed very little to their biographical information, statements, or information on how to access their work, are doing themselves a disservice. Consistency would also benefit the site. The labelling on the images varies between artists and works of art. I’m speculating that the artists also labelled their own artwork. Some of them provided their name, the title of the piece, and the year it was complete or exhibited. I would like for all of the pieces to have all of this information, but some may only include the artist’s name, the title, or nothing at all. This again does the artist a disservice. It may hinder someone from exploring different works of art further, or seek out the information in a different repository.

Aside from providing the artist portfolios and being able to search via gender, time period, and country of origin, the repository can help audiences search specific types of art. As I was navigating through the repository, I wish there was a way to find similar artists. For example, if there are mural artists, I would like to be able to categorize them together. I would like to see the evolution of murals over time in Chicago and where they are located. Similarly, categorizing public sculptures together would also be beneficial. By being able to locate where public art is located throughout the city, audiences may take the incentive to visit the works of art. By creating more metadata, the repository can be more accessible to audiences and help them discover art they otherwise wouldn’t have sought out.

The Chicago Latino ArTchive is a very useful tool. Being so far away from home, it was great to explore the repository and find works of art that I’ve been familiar with throughout my whole life. It was also rewarding finding new art or artists I’ve never heard of before. Despite finding some great information in the repository, I also found myself using other sites to gain more information about specific pieces of work. I would appreciate it if the ArTchive provided that for me instead. I hope to see this repository growing and thriving as future Latinx artists continue to contribute to Chicago’s culture.

Oral History Analysis and Review

I listened to the oral history of Celedonio Galaviz in the Bracero History Archive. The interview was conducted solely in Spanish. It was an extensive, unedited interview around an hour in length. The interviewer created a calm setting that permitted Mr. Galaviz to share his experience concisely and methodically. Mr. Galaviz would stop and ask the interviewer questions at times and she would answer to the best of her abilities. Several times, she provided context for her questions, or would clarify, so that Mr. Galaviz could answer appropriately. At other times, she would provide a personal anecdote which served two purposes: she built rapport with the subject and she gave Galaviz an example of what she was looking for in his response to her question. The informal structure of the interview provided the best atmosphere for Mr. Galaviz, who seemed rather reserved, to share his experience working in the bracero program.

Despite beginning the process of receiving his papers in the 60s, and ultimately becoming a United States citizen in 1991, Celedonio never learned to speak English. During the interview, he mentions that he was illiterate most of his life. His wife taught him the alphabet when he began the process of applying for citizenship. As he notes, Galaviz never received a proper education because of the political climate he grew up in. Galaviz was born in 1921 and his father took part in both revolutions that occurred in Mexico. The President of Mexico at the time, Porfirio Díaz, didn’t want to establish schools because a proper education would cause the people to rebel. Galaviz’s statements infer that a large part of his generation were set for failure. Working the fields seemed to be his only option, whether it was picking maize or beans in Mexico, or tomatoes and cucumbers in Spring Valley of San Diego County. Galaviz presents this information matter of factly, without including any thoughts of what could have been or if he has any regrets. Galaviz says that all the workers of the bracero program had el nopal en la frente, a Spanish idiom that suggests that one’s Mexican indigenous features are predominant. Galaviz’s comments suggest that learning English wouldn’t have made much difference, because they were just seen as workers, and wouldn’t have had the opportunity to venture or integrate further into American culture.

Towards the end of the interview, Galaviz asks the interviewer the purpose of her questions. Before he gives her the opportunity to answer, he mentions that he was previously contacted by people from the government, seeking to recruit him as part of a class action to provide workers with reparations. Galaviz says he is not interested, despite his children urging him to attend meetings. The interviewer mentions that the interview is just for historical context. Throughout the interview, Galaviz appears to be a no nonsense man, who views his time in the bracero program as just an event in his life that helped support his family until they could all be moved to the San Diego area. He had kind words to say about his boss, a Japanese man, who he fully respects. His response to what he would do on his days off (which were full of errands) further suggests that Galaviz just focused on the quotidian . Celedonio Galaviz’s oral history provides insight into the experience of a bracero worker without the added commentary of hindsight.

“Celedonio Galaviz,” in Bracero History Archive, Item #3125, (accessed February 16, 2019).


Hello Everyone,

My name is Edgar Velazquez Reynald and I will be joining you all this semester. I’m originally from Chicago, born and raised. I went to DePaul University and received my Bachelor’s in Communications, which ultimately led me to a job with the Alzheimer’s Association where I gave information and counseling on dementia to patients and caregivers via the contact center. I am also a student of film and have worked on various independent films in a myriad of roles, such as production designer, writer, editor, and producer. “The Girls on Liberty Street” premiered at the Chicago Film Festival in 2013 and I’m currently submitting a new film to festivals. I moved to Dallas last year and got married. We then decided to relocate to San Antonio. I’m excited about this new chapter in my life. I’m excited to meet you all and will be looking forward to working with you.