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A site-specific video installation
Video projection, sound, against windows with views of Wall Street from Governor's Island
Speaker 1: Oh what an interesting question. Do I know about the relationship between Wall Street and the island? No, I'm gonna have to google it. I don't know about the relationship beyond the fact that Wall Street is the center of the stock market and the economy, or at least it was. I believe that many financial institutions have already moved away from Wall Street, but apart from that, I don't know what relationship it may have with the island.
Speaker 2: About Wall Street and the relationship it has with Puerto Rico. What I know is that indeed Wall Street benefits too much from the political and economic situation in Puerto Rico. The issue of the bondholders and how they benefited from the Puerto Rican crisis and the debt is alarming. So in that sense, Wall Street is nothing but vultures that take advantage of the crisis created, not only by the government rules us but also by the United States government that has made possible the disasters we have on the island.
Speaker 3: The relationship between Wall Street and the island mirrors others. Other economic situations that have occurred around the world, such as the economic crisis in South America in the 1980s, and the housing crisis in the United States in 2008. These situations are usually created by speculations that are not true, risky lending, bonds, and finally looking for a bail-out. These companies know about the precariousness of the economies of these countries, as it happened in Argentina, as is happening right now in Puerto Rico. They lend all this money, waiting for a bailout from the government of Puerto Rico, from the Treasury of the United States or the IFC, the International Financial Corporation. Which seems very sketchy. The country is unable to pay it back because it is bankrupt, whether it be for reasons of corruption or mismanagement of funds, etc., it is forced to introduce austerity measures. Austerity measures are cuts in social programs and higher taxes. All these things that affect the Puerto Rican citizen, not the people in power, not the politicians, not the bondholders, not the United States Treasury. So it does become a moral situation, a situation of profit over lives, as we see over and over again in everything that is happening around the world. Yes, it is a conflict for me as a Puerto Rican to go live in USA, it was not a thoughtless decision, I did it to improve the quality of life of my son who is a blind person. I did it to be able to study here, to be able to have a better medical plan. I always wanted to live outside the island, but it is not the reality of many people, who have to leave the island out of necessity, out of poverty because they cannot pay the rent, because they are being displaced. It is sad that still after so many years, they have seen how these bondholders, birds of prey, take advantage of fragile economies and poor populations around the world and continue to do the same. Without impunity. I don't think it will change and I don't think the situation will improve. Unfortunately.
Speaker 4: About Wall Street. I know the vultures are there. Those vultures that are drooling, waiting for things to get worse in Puerto Rico for them to benefit from the purchase of bonds, etc. I also know that many of these people are the ones who are now invading the island for the benefits they are being given so that they can go live there without paying taxes. On our beaches, increasing the cost of living much more than the rest of the universe is already feeling it.
Speaker 5: That also goes for the relationship between Wall Street and the Island, right? Because when you get a job here you are totally tied to the world of the American economy. In Puerto Rico, you are too but the salaries are incredibly different. It's like they want you to leave the island, almost like they make it impossible to live there. For example, if you have student debt, it's impossible at this point in the island's history for you to be financially comfortable. It's incredible what's happening now with the bitcoiners and everyone buying properties on the island and basically turning it into a Disney. It really is something that I still haven't fully understood, but I'm seeing it happen from one day to the next. You can't even buy property on the island because of how expensive it is. How can Puerto Rican people there buy something if they don't have that kind of money? It is made for the people who come from outside.
Speaker 6: It is a conflict. I also hate every time I'm here (New York) and I'm talking about the complicated situation of Puerto Rico being a US colony. Suddenly a gringo tells me "well, what are you doing living in the United States?" Yes, it is conflictive. It's fucked-up.