Today, we mourn the physical loss of our beloved patriot and consummate artist Elizam Escobar: but forever we should celebrate his many gifts to our lives and most importantly that Elizam lived life to its fullest until his final moments. From the days of exposing the secret imperial project called Plan 2020 in 1976 along with his teacher Juan Antonio Corretjer, to his sacrificial feat of two decades of political incarceration, to his commitment to the political freedom of Puerto Rico, to his unique artistic expressions, to his riveting wordsmithing and poetry; from his amazing, engaging teaching skills, to his deep philosophical conversations, Elizam left so much for us to continue to ponder the major questions of the human experience. As he once said “Yo creo que el arte es una respuesta a la muerte porque es la forma de mantener vivo todas las pasiones, las contradicciones, los logros de la humanidad, el aprecio por todo, por la naturaleza, por el mar, por el universo’’.
There is no doubt in my mind that Elizam’s epithet could best be expressed in the words of Corretjer “en la mesa del dolor del mundo, edité mi proyecto de vida”
Elizam was truly an iconic figure of Puerto Rican art, politics, and letters. In words and in deeds he lived the change that he struggled for. I am convinced that he could state as the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera once said “por mi raza hablará mi espíritu”.