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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Dr. Tomas Carrasco leads Chicano satire performance

Tomas Carrasco performs a comedy act playing as a Chicano politician at his art show Thursday August 31, 2017 in the Atkinson Gallery. Carrasco is a professor at City College teaching Chicano Studies.

Unconventional Assistant Professor Tomas Carrasco lead the Chicano Secret Service as they performed satire at a pop-up photo exhibit 6 p.m. Aug. 31, in the Atkinson Gallery.

“We are here to open up people to new ideas through laughing,” said Carrasco. “In the midst of this anti-Mexican rhetoric Chicano Secret Service is trying to create dialogue by using comedy.”

The Chicano Secret Service provokes their audience with deep issues, but their message is broadcasted through humor. Carrasco and his fellow comedian and sister, Susan Carrasco, deliver “in-your-face” humor.

They are fervent promoters of their cause, which is to educate the population about the non-stereotypical side of Chicano life.

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“We want to inspire the youth to face the challenges we have today with activism. For Teatro, one doesn’t need to be rich, you only need ideas and goals,” Carrasco said.

Their act demonstrates their educational backgrounds as much as their socio-economic roots.

“I used what remember from my aunts growing up in East L.A.; they way they spoke and used their hands. They were cool and funny,” Susan Carrasco said.

Tomas is an American Ethnic Study professor at City College while Susan works within the Oxnard College Counseling Department.  Their amateur group has received theatrical coaching and support from the Los Angeles based Latino Lab and Teatro Campesino.

“What I like about their performances is the revolutionary spirit,” said Luis Moreno, former City College theater and math instructor.

“Because of what is happening around us in today’s world, we can get too serious and feel powerless. Through comedy and satire though, we regain our power through positivity,” Moreno said.

Carrasco’s primary motive is to change reality by not accepting it. He is trying to influence the system that degrades his culture and ancestry through his satirical art. Teatro is Carrasco’s way of saying that he will not belong to this system that disadvantages him and other people of color. Instead, he and his colleagues make fun of it and try to fight back with knowledge.

“Part of what we do here is proving that Chicano culture is American culture. Mexicans are not immigrants, they are in fact the original settlers of this land,” Carrasco said.


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