The latest single from indie band Hurray for the Riff Raff, fronted by Bronx-born boricua musician Alynda Lee Segarra, is titled “Pa’lante,” which translates to “forward.” It’s a concept that speaks not only to Puerto Ricans but colonized people of all backgrounds—the perseverance inherent in those identities, the fight for autonomy and a progressive future. The music video for “Pa’lante,” released Monday, reflects that struggle and strength—The Florida Project’s Mela Murder portrays a new mother of two young children attempting to navigate life on the island after Hurricane Maria, disrupted with images of PR’s destruction and archival footage of the Young Lords, a human rights organization founded in the late ’60s that sought self-determination for Puerto Rico and all Latinx people and their countries.
Director Kristian Mercado Figueroa released a statement on the concept:
“We really wanted to showcase talent of color, stories by people of color—it was important to me to make sure this was a diverse production that had Puerto Ricans working on it. The conditions on the island are still very poor. During the production we could all feel how painful it all was, how it’s been so long without enough help. The island is still strong, the people always positive, but you can’t help but feel the desperation and pain of the colonial condition, the sense of abandonment. Pa’lante is a very Puerto Rican mindset—be it a family struggling to stay together, or recovering from the hurricane, the Puerto Rican people are strong and they will always stand and move forward. And there is a beauty to that.”
The video, much like Puerto Rico, is beautiful, bright, and hopeful—even in the face of immense, generational pain and suffering. Watch it above.