Here Comes the Hurricane

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Jose Luis Benavides


This two-section article and interview with Jesús Hilario-Reyes, a queer, non-binary, Afro-Caribbean artist, explores their artwork to connect trans new media histories to contemporary trans Chicanx scholarship via recent notions on “glitch” and “stitch.” The introduction connects Hilario-Reyes’s uprootedness to trans thoughts on “the cut” and trans Chicanx scholar Francisco Galarte’s concept of “Brown transfiguration.” In Section One, Hilario-Reyes discusses their new media practices in relation to land, water, displacement, and diasporic disembodiment. The interview in Section One reveals their experiences with migration, as they reflect on their 3D animated work about Puerto Rico's post-Hurricane Maria flooding, and their role as a DJ creating queer Black space. Section Two delves deeper into their 3D art and music as a healing response to displacement, mourning, and “destierro” (being ripped from one's homeland). Hilario-Reyes’s creativity, expressed through 3D animations, performance, and sound, becomes an embodied and world-building practice infused with resistance and queer Black sovereignty. Their perspectives on "glitch, love, and storms" offer adjacent strategies to resistance optics, addressing the visibility/invisibility dynamics inherent in transphobia and white supremacy. Their understanding of climate change's white supremacist root cause affecting Puerto Rico leads to a transformation of the disembodying effects of systemic violence through trans and Black-informed gestures. Through Hilario-Reyes’s 3D animations and video games, the article connects their work to larger trans scholarship, new media, and trans video game histories. Embodying non-binary and Afro-Caribbean thought, Hilario-Reyes re-engages the body, love, humanness, and their multiple possible selves, turning systemic violence's cataclysmic failures into trans and Afro-Caribbean liberation.

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