Dissonant Maroons: The Rhythm of Refusal

Loira Limbal is a Caribbean filmmaker and DJ interested in the creation of art that is nuanced and revelatory for communities of color.

Artist Bio

Blackness is our heart, our soul, our pulse but Blackness – as a political identity and radical tradition – remains inaccessible to the collective throughout much of the Spanish speaking Caribbean. Aqui no hay racismo (there is no racism here) is the ubiquitous response we receive whenever we attempt to denounce racism. The prevailing notion is that “everyone is mixed” and because of that racism is untenable. This “mestizaje” or racial mixing narrative has erased the history of eugenics assimilation projects that sought to have African and Indigenous people “breed” into whiteness to create “race-less” white/mestizo archetypes. Dissonant Maroons disrupts historical racial narratives and affirms contemporary Blackness in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. This piece seeks to create a space for reflection on the dissonance that is required to exist in countries that demand you to deny your own reflection in order to belong. There is information and technology in this dissonance, at these intersections, at these crossroads. The 3 channels will combine archival footage, lyrical evocative sequences, cinema verite, and original music and will be arranged in a broad U shape to create an immersive experience.

Artist Loira Limbal is a Black woman with an Afro sitting in front of a white wall. She is wearing a white blouse and gray glasses.

Loira Limbal

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Loira Limbal received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Loira Limbal is an award-winning Caribbean filmmaker and DJ interested in the creation of art that is nuanced and revelatory for communities of color. Limbal’s most recent film, THROUGH THE NIGHT, is a feature documentary about a 24 hour daycare center. THROUGH THE NIGHT is a duPont Award winner, New York Times Critics’ Pick, was selected for a world premiere at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, and aired on PBS’ POV series in May 2021. Limbal is a United States Artists Fellow, Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellow, and a NAACP Image Award nominee. Under the moniker of DJ Laylo, she creates spaces that celebrate and connect the musical dots of the African Diaspora. Her unrelenting commitment to good music and rocking the crowd have earned her a reputation for creating a house party vibe in the fanciest of venues. She is the former Senior Vice President of Programs at Firelight Media. Limbal received a B.A. in History from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel’s Film and Video Production Training Program. She lives in Carolina, Puerto Rico with her two children.