<i>Cultura Panamericana</i>

Toward a Hemispheric Imaginary


  • Anthony Macías




I am writing this analytical appreciation of cultura panamericana, or pan-American culture, to propose a wider recognition of how its historical linkages and contemporary manifestations confront colonialism, honor indigenous roots, and reflect multiple, mixed-race identities. Although often mediated by transnational pop-culture industries, expressive cultural forms such as art and music articulate resonant themes that connect US Latinos and Latinas to Latin Americans, pointing the way toward a hemispheric imaginary. In US murals, for example, whether in the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen or the Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park, pan-American expressive culture offers alternative representations by embracing indigeneity, and it creates a sense of place by tropicalizing urban spaces.