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Being La DominicanaRace and Identity in the Visual Culture of Santo Domingo$
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Rachel Afi Quinn

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043819

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043819.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Whiteness, Transformative Bodies, and the Queer Dominicanidad of Rita Indiana

Whiteness, Transformative Bodies, and the Queer Dominicanidad of Rita Indiana

Chapter:
(p.88) 3 Whiteness, Transformative Bodies, and the Queer Dominicanidad of Rita Indiana
Source:
Being La Dominicana
Author(s):

Rachel Afi Quinn

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043819.003.0004

Writer, artist, and musician Rita Indiana Hernández presents as gender ambiguous and masculine in her work in ways that challenge Dominican cultural norms. This chapter considers how she capitalizes on these ambiguities in her significant visual responses to this transnational moment. Her samplings of cultural referents function, as she herself has noted, is like a Surrealist’s collection of found objects. This chapter critiques the artist’s appropriation of Haitian and African American cultural referents, naming her performance in the music video “Da pa’ lo do’” as blackface, and identifying elsewhere her use of Blaxploitation aesthetics in an exploration of how Dominican whiteness works. Rita Indiana’s proximity to whiteness, this chapter argues, makes it possible for her to present queerness, Blackness, and female masculinity to a wide audience and be cast as innovative and consumable.

Keywords:   Rita Indiana Hernández, Whiteness, Blackface, Transformista, Queer, Surrealist, Pastiche, Haitian, Appropriation, Blaxploitation

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