BIPOC Pop 2024 was definitely a new perspective for me.  Both times I came in the past I was highly involved with panels or workshops and definitely working on producing photos and video as primary content to document the event.  This time I attended as a co workshop leader and then just as an attendee.  It was much more of my “anthropologist hat on,” kinda attendance where I get to just sit and absorb what’s going on around me.  I spoke with a lot of different attendees, artists, academics, students, people from the community in general.  I went to some dinners and in general just took it all in.  This year’s blog post is definitely a reflective one.

I carpooled with Dr. Ramirez from Bryan, TX.  Dr. Ramirez is an assistant professor at the University of Houston Downtown and helps run the Center for Latino Studies.   We would have good discussions on the drives to and from the conference, getting to discuss theory, our jobs and on the way back, deep reflections on the conference.  It was amazing.  We also hosted a workshop together about multimodal academic works and pedagogical approaches.  Dr. Ramirez did an amazing job leading the workshop and the interactions were great.

At the conference itself I just kinda sat around and would “graze” the panels, workshops and artist market.  I attended some great workshops, my personal favorites that I attended were Mary Cantu’s and Ernesto Cuevas’.  Both approached their workshops in a very inclusive community oriented way that encouraged everyone to participate and interact, yet also time for self reflection and growth.  

Anel Flores

I was able to capture some video of Anel Flores’ Zine workshop, it was amazing. Anel is a poet, visual artist and in general a public figure in San Antonio who represents the “other,” in so many spaces. While I was not able to attend the full workshop, I was so inspired by her reading of her zine and the imagery used. I was personally touched by her use of Jovita Idar, my great great Aunt.

Mary’s Workshop

Mary’s workshop focused on comics and the panels themselves, she had us choose comics that we would then color the panels and create a “basic” meaning of shapes and colors that give meaning to the panels. I created my own using a comic and when finished took a side by side of a similar page and my work, it was definitely a good process for both the mind and creativity.

Ernesto’s Workshop

Ernesto led a workshop where he had people pair up and develop what I am calling “miniature murals” based on text, art and thinking about stories.  I worked with Dukes comic’s co-creator Dr. E.C. Dukes, along with my son jojo on creating a mini mural.  What is so awesome to me about this kinds of workshops is that it is so much more than learning to create a mini mural, it is the journey, the conversations and intermodal art approach to creating, creating bonds, memories and lessons.

Dr. González’s Workshop

I also attended Dr. Christopher González’s  workshop, Latinx Life Tales: Writing Workshop From Memory to Memoir.  His talk explored his journey to creating Big Scary Brown Guy – A memoir.  My personal reason for going to this was very open ended.  I just had a feeling to go and that I would figure out why when I was there. Dr. González was a great presenter and fielded questions of all types. 

My Reflection On Dr. González’s Workshop

What I took away personally was that I should create a memoir at some point and if I were to do one soon I think a title might be “A academic degenerates life – part one.”  It made me think about a list of articles I have already written that might culminate into something.  Here are a few:

Artist & Book Market

The artist and book market is one of my favorite parts of BIPOC. It is where I get to meet so many creative people, learn about publishing opportunities and purchase from and support artists directly. This year did not disappoint. I got the pleasure of meeting the Dukes after many years of hearing about their amazing work. It was definitely a para-social relationship moment where I have followed their work for so long on social media that I felt like I knew them. The cool part was that I got to know them very quickly. They are definitely people I want to stay in touch with.

I also met Sarah Rafael García of the LibroMobile Arts Cooperative and learned about their efforts in Santa Ana, California to celebrate Latinx heritage through community oriented art works and shows. I am hoping we are able to collaborate on some sort of project soon.

In general I got lots of good art work, here are some of my “finds”


Overall BIPOC 2024 was great. I will say it exhausted me. Ultimately I am an anthropologist and I take in a lot of the energy of people around me and it was overwhelming. The overarching feeling was one of optimism. That said, I do want to recognized the feeling of internal and external struggle by the artists and academics who presented. Many stories and pieces and presentations are based around painful experiences, past and present. This overtone definitely kept things “real.” I saw many academics who are currently struggling to find themselves and representations of themselves in academia. Yearning to learn how to navigate Academia at all levels. I did publish an article on my personal website about it:

I encourage anyone who has the smallest amount of interest to attend BIPOC 2025, it is free and something that Fredrick Luis Aldama and Samantha Ceballos produce at a level of sincerity that shows and attendees like me appreciate and value.

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