The most popular strategy of governments during the new coronavirus pandemic has been to address a public health problem with economic policies.
The desperation not to go bankrupt has, in many cases, been a fatal aggravation for the civilian population.
Puerto Rico is an excellent example of this.
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, the COVID-19 severely hit a responsible industry for some $7 billion annually, the equivalent of 7% of the island’s GDP.
However, considering the nation’s chaotic health infrastructure and political turmoil, opening its doors to indiscriminate tourism was a foolish decision, to say the least.
That is precisely what the local experimental duo Buscabulla wanted to express with their new video “Mio,” taken from their debut album “Regreso,” which has garnered positive reviews since its release in May.
Directed by members Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle, the new video was filmed throughout Puerto Rico, with initial scenes on the coast of Playuela, the center of a battle between environmental activists and tourism industry developers.
“Mío’ is a look outside the tourist’s gaze in Puerto Rico, with recent natural disasters, an ongoing economic crisis and now a global pandemic accelerating gentrification and foreign development,” the band explains.
“Despite our neocolonial reality, it will always be our right to assert our own dignity and self-respect. What we are claiming as ours goes beyond what money can buy. Home is even more than land, it is our culture, our people and our history with all its lights and shadows.”
More than a cry for help, the video of “Mio” marks a personal and political position of a group that left New York to return to its island, its roots, and a nation desperate to be heard and taken into account.
“The album reflects the joys of being back but it’s also melancholic,” Raquel says. “You can feel like a stranger in your own home because the island is going through very hard, weird times. Most people our age have fled. We have also changed after being away for so long.”
“Regresa is about self-acceptance of oneself with all our imperfections, and the acceptance of being back in Puerto Rico, with all its flaws,” she adds.