Christopher Soto, Puerto Rico, 1986, Resilient III: Rescue [Goddess of Plantains] (2022), Mixed Media, 30x40 inches
It’s not clear how or exactly when, but by some miracle, some alchemy only the earth and its divine beings can understand, there arose small seeds of hope. The artist visualizes another goddess emerging from the earth; the Goddess of Plantains. A manifestation of nourishment and growth; she provides relief in the form of food and road repairs to allow for the mobilization of general aid efforts by individuals and organizations compensating for the failings of local and federal leaders. Of the earth, of the people; she embodies the soul and the will of a community that will not be defeated.
Look Closer: The plantain is a major food source on the island and has been since the African slaves introduced it to the island’s cuisine hundreds of years ago. This food source is featured prominently in the majority of the island’s cuisine and agricultural economy. Culturally, it serves as symbol of the identity of the island with many references made to the countrymen and farmworkers who cultivate plantain trees.