Students’ Online Presentations

ONLINE ENGAGEMENT (Deadline 5/10 until 11:59 PM)

Instructions:

In the comment section, post and analyze a Latinx poem, a song, an article, a podcast episode, a short video reportage, or a social media intervention of your choosing. Present a breakdown of the selected material based on the following questions:

1. What are the central ideas of this piece?

2. What form/style does she/he/they utilizes to convey these themes or concerns?

3. Analyze one specific section of your chosen piece that best communicates what you identified in 1 and 2 above.

4.  How does this piece complement the concerns of the other sources discussed in the class?

(400 Words Minimum)

10 thoughts on “Students’ Online Presentations

  1. “Accents” by Denice Froham
    1) The central ideas that Frodham discussed in her poem was that her mother’s tongue cannot be contained by the English language and how she takes pride in her mother’s accent because it reminds her of who she is and where she comes from. She embraces her mother’s accent because it allows her to connect with her homeland, culture and people. She begins to prove how her mother’s accent brings people together due to the crowd participation throughout the delivery of her poem. While listening, the crowd felt a sense of belonging and a specific connection with one another and Froham’s ideas and examples. Her mother’s accent reminded the crowd of home and how their mothers speak as well. She views her mother’s accent as a source of empowerment because within her accent you can hear her struggle, fight and experiences with trying to adapt to American language. Her accent tells a story that only Latinos can understand. Her accent shows that she will always be a Latina no matter what specific words she says. You can hear where she is from through her accent. Her mother’s accent is a part of her identity and she embraces it because it makes her feel whole. She explains how her mother’s tongue is too thick to comply with the English language because her accent was passed down from her family in her country. The accent plays the role as a one-way ticket to home for Froham and she discusses how she uses it when she is feeling lost. Her goal is to make the readers understand that they should embrace their accent because it is a link to who you truly are.
    2) The style/ form Denice Froham uses in her poem is descriptive because she describes her mother’s accent and what is represents in detail and gave many examples. An example of this is when she said, “my mom holds her accent like a shotgun, with two good hands. her tongue, all brass knuckle slipping in between her lips her hips, all laughter and wind clap.” This quote means that her accent is very powerful and strong.
    3) Froham discusses her mother’s accent as being extraordinary compared to the English language. She states, “her tongue can’t lay itself down flat enough for the English language, it got too much hip too much bone too much conga too much cuatro to two-step got too many piano keys in between her teeth, it got too much clave too much hand clap got too much salsa to sit still it be an anxious child wanting to make Play-Doh out of concrete English be too neat for her kind of wonderful.” This explains how she believes her mother’s accent is a big part of her identity. Her tongue cannot come into terms with the English language because it is special and has its own way of doing things. Her accent cannot be trained into sounding any other way. Her accent has a specific flavor that only Latinos can relate to. Her mother’s accent is the root of who she is because it has been passed on from generation to generation in her family and that is a way for them to connect to their country. Froham also states, “my mama’s tongue is a telegram from her mother decorated with the coqui’s of el campo so even though her lips can barely stretch themselves around english, her accent is a stubborn compass always pointing her towards home.” This means that her mother has her own way of saying things like “eh-strawbeddy” and “eh-cookie” which gives her that feeling of being connected to home. The accent is a source of strength, pride and togetherness. Her mother’s accent is powerful, and it will always be a reminder of her Latino heritage, culture and identity.
    4) This piece complements the concerns of other sources in class because it connects with the constant expression of identity within the Latino community. This accent can tie in with many other topics discussed in class such as land and communities. Froham’s piece describes a barrier between Latino and American ways which is what most of our class readings are about. This accent acts as a barrier to Froham because although her mother is speaking English, you can still hear the Spanish in her voice. She describes the struggle many Latinos face when learning how to pronounce English words and this can connect to many of the other readings when they discussed their own struggle with adapting to American ways. For example, in the reading “US Media Depictions of Climate Migrants: The Recent Case of the Puerto Rican “Exodus,” it discussed how some Puerto Ricans struggled when they moved to America post Maria and how some of them didn’t have homes and experienced discrimination. This connects to the struggle of speaking English due to Froham’s mother’s accent because it shows the conflict that many Latinos have to face while living in America.

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    1. Ariel, because you reflected on Lemon and Flaco’s poem during the Diasporican Poetry week I will accept your excellent analysis, but to clarify, you were supposed to bring a source that we haven’t discussed in the class.

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  2. My presentation analyzes an article by Richard Delgado titled “The Law of the Noose: A History of Latino Lynching”, published in 2009 in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review Journal. The full article can be found at https://www.humanitiesforwisdom.org/uploads/5/8/9/8/58987361/297-312_1.pdf.

    1. What are the central ideas of this piece?

    This piece primarily deals with the history of Latino lynchings in the United States, why they are not included in the mainstream history of lynching, and the parallels between these lynchings and current English-only movements.
    More specifically, the author makes these points.
    1. Lynching is usually only associated with the African American community. However, upon further examination, there is a history of Latino lynchings, particularly in the Southwest, where many Mexican Americans were lynched.
    2. The lynchings occurred at the same time (in the years after the Civil War and during Reconstruction), in the same place (Southwest), at the same rate, and for mainly the same reasons (economic competition, violating Jim Crow etiquette or”acting uppity”, and/or being too “Mexican”) as the lynchings of the African American community.
    3. The Mexican American community has recorded and remembered these lynchings through community newspapers and oral histories in the form of corridos, ballads that are spontaneously composed, actos, skits in the form of street theatre, and cantares, poetry.
    4. There are three reasons that explain why this history is invisible. Firstly, a lot of the records (the corridos, cantares, actos, and newspaper articles) are in Spanish, which most mainstream American historians do not understand. Secondly, the concept of Latinos being lynched does not fit with the common understanding of lynching as an African American phenomenon, and thus historians who do know about the lynchings don’t treat the subject fairly and don’t give it the attention it deserves. Lastly, per postcolonial theory, the lynchings of Latinos does not make Americans look good, especially because Latinos living in the United States are an internal colony of the U.S., and thus it is excluded from the mainstream historical narrative.
    5. “English-only” and anti-bilingualism movements are present day forms of lynching because they accomplish the same goals that lynching did- inhibiting people from going about their day’s work, controlling the population, and inflicting harm (whether physical, cultural, or psychic).
    6. “English only” movements also hide the history of oppression, colonization, and unfair treatments of Latinos in the U.S. by strongly discouraging them to learn Spanish, cutting them off from fully engaging with their community and learning the extent of their history as a minority in the United States.

    2. What form/style does she/he/they utilizes to convey these themes or concerns?

    The author uses expository, descriptive, and analytical styles in their article. The first section is descriptive and expository, where the author tells us about Latino lynchings and mentions specific incidents and how the Mexican American community responded. The rest of the article, especially the sections that compares English only movements with lynchings and gives reasons for its invisibility is analytical, because the author is analyzing and drawing conclusions.

    3. Analyze one specific section of your chosen piece that best communicates what you identified in 1 and 2 above.

    Found on page 312 of the article.
    “English-Only laws and practices, then, emerge as much more than misguided efforts to achieve national uniformity or a pleasing linguistic sameness. Rather, reminiscent of lynching and other harsh practices, they inhibit adults in the ordinary business of work and conversation, and convey the message that outsiders are not welcome unless they behave according to standards set by others. They sever the cultural cord from one generation to the next and hide histories of aggression, unprovoked war, lynching, segregated schools, and stereotypical treatment at the hands of media and the entertainment industry going back at least 150 years. They inhibit righteous indignation and efforts to achieve redress, while leaving the young defenseless against mistreatment that they are ill-equipped to understand or counter. English-Only orthodoxy is, thus, a form of lynching in at least two senses. Although not in itself physically lethal, it can inflict great psychic and cultural damage. Further, it conceals from view events—including actual lynchings—that call out for exposure and reparative justice. English Only laws and workplace rules are, in the words of this Essay’s title, aspects of the law of the noose. They are like a silken cord that tightens the more one struggles. If one stands still and does not resist, the cord will not choke. But the price is to go through life with a silken rope around one’s neck. As with the teenagers at Jena, the cord operates as a highly coercive sorting mechanism. You belong here; you, there.”

    This section of the article, found in the conclusion, perfectly summarizes the core of the author’s arguments. Here the author explains the comparison between lynching and English-only movements, both of them inhibiting and controlling a certain part of the population. However, what this implies is actually quite scary. The author is implying that although lynching does not occur anymore, the hatred that caused people to lynch still exists and is being manifested within English only movements. If this is true, it means that all the progress society has made has not actually been progress. It did not succeed in changing the hearts and minds of the people. It only pushed them a little underground. That is why, in his last paragraph, the author calls on scholars to research areas similar to this one, that have similar effects, in order to root out the hatred and discrimination that some people, till today, are maintaining.

    4. How does this piece complement the concerns of the other sources discussed in the class?

    This piece connects to Willie Perdoma’s poem (that the class watched last week), as both of these sources discuss the relationship between the African American and Latino communities. Perdomo says that practically speaking, these two communities are treated in the same way, and the lynchings of Latinos support that claim. A lot of the authors we read, including A.P. Rodriguez and L. Garcia Pena, also speak a lot about the homeland and connections to homeland. Denise Frohman discusses the importance of language, specifically accents, and says that her mother’s accent acts like a compass, pointing her back home. According to this article, Latinos are being robbed of that connection to their homeland, by being told to forget their language, Spanish, which will help them hold onto it.

    5. Pose a critical question to the group.

    Do you personally find the author’s reasons for the invisibility of Latino lynchings convincing? What are some other possible reasons?

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  3. From Sabrina Tellez

    Article: “ ‘Connected Diaspora’ exhibit highlights Central American culture” by Tessa Delgo

    Link: https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2019/11/connected-diaspora-exhibit-highlights-central-american-culture

    1. What are the central concerns of this piece?

    The central concerns of this piece is focused on the exhibit collected by visual artist Veronica Melendez’s artwork ,with support from Duke’s Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South. The exhibit features artwork from 16 Central American artists portraying the interconnections of cultures “in the digital era”.

    2. What form/style does she/he/they utilizes to convey these themes or concerns?

    The form/style that the artist utilized to convey the concerns of their piece are through artistic expression in the form of paintings but as well as a descriptive literary style. The author of the piece utilizes a descriptive writing style to describe the artists that feature in the exhibit and the goals of the artwork, which is essentially to bring artistic representation of Carribean diasporas, to “ show a different side of our community, how creative [we are].”

    3. Analyze one specific section of your chosen piece that best communicates what you identified in 1 and 2 above. 


    “Growing up in an area where there is no one else from your homeland … [it can be] very alienating and othering. Now, you can easily connect to people who have similar backgrounds,” Melendez said. “It’s a new thing, just how connected we can all be. I don’t think there has been a show where the binding force of the diaspora … is social media.”

    Analysis:This section of my chosen piece best communicates what central ideas and literary styles that the author uses because its a quote from Veronica Mendelez, the artist who organized the exhibit, explaining the importance of diasporic communities, representation of their realities and overall, the power of elements from your heritage in artistic expression. Mendelez describes the realities of many Carribean diasporic communities, the alienating feeling of no one being from your homeland and how art is used to connect people from similar backgrounds. She brings attention to the empowerment of being able to make connections with people through art depicting underrepresented Carribean communities.

    4. How does this piece complement the concerns of the other sources discussed in the class?

    This piece complements the concerns of other sources we have discussed in class because it brings attention to the power artistic expression has on highlighting underrepresented communities. Latinx activists have always used art as a way to tackle issues that are part of their social movements.

    5. Pose a critical question to the group.

    If you had to make an artistic piece depicting diasporic communities that you grew up with or are familiar with, what cultural elements (music, food, clothing, language, etc) would you include in your piece?

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  4. Source: Eugenio Derbez Receives the Film Award at the 32nd Hispanic Heritage Awards

    The central ideas of this piece includes how Latin Americans help and play a major role in this country. Eugenio Derbez speaks about what it means to be born hispanic. This means inheriting family values such as the power of keeping families together. He says “Our family values are so strong, even other people trust us to take care of their kids” which was a shout out for the hardworking nannies who treat other kids as their own. Eugenio says “We inherit thousands of centuries, all recipes which we use everyday not only to feed our children but also to feed this country through every kitchen in America” it’s important for him to remind everyone that the people standing behind the stoves preparing their favorite plates are one of us.
    The form/style Eugenio Derbez uses in his speech to convey these themes includes comedy and being very descriptive. Two examples are “We inherit the ability to turn a single meal into feasts, just by echarle más agua a los frijoles.” I found this funny but also clever because I understood this as hispanics being on the go all the time and fast paced. He also mentions, “Even Justin Beiber sounds better in spanish.” The language we speak is even learned by people who aren’t proficient in it but yet help by singing in their songs or making efforts to learn it.
    This section of the speech best communicates what I identified in the previous questions. “If someone says they don’t want you here, then tell them give me back my inheritance, give me back the food, give me back the shelter, the work, the culture, the care, the blood and the sweat, I’ve shared with you.” I found this quote to be the icing on the cake in Eugenio’s speech because it explains how we hispanics have given pieces of our inheritance but in return are told to stay away from this country. It’s another form of injustice which we can’t walk away from.
    This piece complements the concerns of the other sources discussed in the class by having pride in what we bring to the table. The hispanic community is enormous but yet unique in their own sacrifices and history. From the Zapatistas in Mexico to Puerto Ricans migrating to the U.S, there are many challenges they face for inheriting their family values, food, music, accents and culture which makes them Latinx.

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  5. Source: “Shakira & J. Lo’s FULL Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show”

    The central idea of this piece is that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira had a whole performance ready for the eyes of the world to see. Throughout the performance, they sent powerful messages for everyone to see: J Lo wrapped herself in a feathered cape with both the American flag and the Puerto Rican flag on it. She utilizes this cape to represent the theme of unity, while her daughter and a children’s choir sang “Born in the USA.” Then, we also saw children sat on the stage in structures that resembled cages, this was a direct protest against children in detention centers at the border.
    After, Shakira sang the song “Chantaje”, I really enjoyed where she the Latin community by dancing salsa with the musicians. She followed with the now-viral “tongue flicking” which many identified as Zaghrouta, a traditional Arabic expression of joy and celebration, but to any Colombian watching, it was another homage to the carnival, as we’ve seen the group “Son de Negro” produce these sounds in their dances. It made sense that right after, Shakira and her dancers broke into a mapalé choreography, an ancient dance that comes from our African heritage and is also an important part of our Carnaval. Finally, Shakira joined J Lo, who started the famous “Waka Waka,” another hit inspired by African music, and left us with a little piece of champeta, a dance that originated in the popular neighborhoods of Cartagena, Colombia, and rapidly spread all over the Caribbean.
    This piece complements the concerns of the other sources discussed in this class because we are proud of our Spanish community in the U.S. Each heritage, whether we are Mexican/Salvadorian/Puerto Rican/Dominican we all bring our own traditions/cultures and share it in our community.

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  6. Sources: “Mexicana Hermosa” (Versión Mariachi) ft. Carlos Rivera
    (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uv5lHe14Dgk ), “Recuerdame” (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTU9mMixmJc )

    The central idea of this piece is that Natalia Lafourcade proves her Mexican Heritage pride by singing the song, “Mexicana Hermosa.” Another thing that shows the theme of pride is that in the music video there are Mariachis (Mariachis are musicians dressed in native costume playing a type of traditional Mexican folk music). playing their instruments. Also, Natalia has her braid crown around her head, typically female mexican ancestors would wear. Furthermore, I believe that this video shows that she has harnessed strength from her beliefs. She sings “Mexicana mia, preciosa Maria… que eres poderosa… Yo le canto mi copla y mi prosa” when she mentions the name “Maria” and how powerful she is, Natalia is speaking about the Virgen Maria. In the Mexican-Heritage culture, many Mexicans believe and honor la Virgen Maria because La Virgen has always put light in their dark path. Throughout the video, Lafourcade shows that she is passionate about her culture/beliefs.
    Later, Lafourcade’s sound has come to us at a time during which the desire to examine Latinx roots has felt particularly urgent, perhaps as a result of challenges and political strains that both Latin America and immigrant communities in the United States have encountered in recent decades. The themes of ancestral roots and patrimony have been percolating in Latinx pop culture in recent years, like the release of 2017’s Disney Coco. While the film focused largely on Mexican heritage, where Coco’s message was the honoring of familial roots. Remembering where you come from, and what the people before you have gone through, is an emotional exercise, often heavy with the weight of history. But as Latinx culture teaches, it can also be a way into self-awareness and imagination. Even in the face of loss, it’s the bits of memories, stories, and songs that get passed along the generations to preserve the beauty of places that may no longer exist.
    Overall, these videos complement the concerns of the other sources discussed in class because it shows the love/passion for one’s country. In this scenario, the way Natalia Lafourcade is proud and passionate about being Mexican. This relates to the Zapatistas because they were people who loved to help one another/their ancestors/the earth. In conclusion, not only did they help the community, but they were also fully proud of their country and honored their culture/beliefs.

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  7. The central idea of this piece is how Elizabeth Acevedo went from rejecting her roots to accepting them with pride and love. Acevedo also discusses in this poem the discovery in herself, self-acceptance and self-love. She starts off her poem by saying how she was embarrassed by her culture “Straightening my hair in imitation of Barbie. I was embarrassed by my grandmother’s colorful skirts and my mother’s broken English, which cracked my pride when she spoke. So, shit, I would poke fun at her myself, hoping to lessen the humiliation. Proud to call myself American, a citizen of this nation, I hated the caramel color skin. Cursed God I’d been born the color of cinnamon. How quickly we forget where we come from.” Then Acevedo continues about where she comes from which was a “beautifully tragic mixture of children of slaves and slave masters” and “my memory can’t seem to escape, the thought of lost lives in indigenous rape” but Acevedo doesn’t see this bittersweet past of her ancestors as something to be ashamed or embarrassed about but looks at it as a celebration of her roots/heritage and remembering her ancestors in her poem. “We are the sons and daughters, el destino de mi gente,” she states in her poem. “Black, brown, beautiful… viviremos para siempre. Afro-Latinos hasta la muerte.”
    The form/style Acevedo uses to convey these themes or concerns are lyric poetry and spoken word. Lyric poetry because it concerns feelings and emotions and lastly spoken word because this poetic performance art is word-based which is also an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play such as intonation and voice inflection.
    One specific section of this poem that best communicates what I identified in the previous questions is “My parents’ tongue was a gift which I quickly forgot after realizing my peers did not understand it. They did not understand me. So, I rejected habichuela y mangú, much preferring Happy Meals and Big Macs.” This is another example of how she was rejecting her roots as a child but that changed as she got older.
    This piece complements the concerns of the other sources discussed in the class for example the spoken word by Willie Perdomo “N****r Reecan Blues” talks about how people classify him even though he is Puerto Rican and also a Latino and Black man. He basically dicusses his own struggles as well as a Latino and Black man.

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  8. Sources: Elizabeth Acevedo – “Hair”
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0svS78Nw_yY
    Elizabeth Acevedo’s interview for Latina Magazine
    Link: https://bglh-marketplace.com/2015/12/dominican-poet-elizabeth-acevedo-growing-up-i-was-told-curly-hair-is-the-hair-of-prostitutes/

    1. In my presentation, I choose the poem “Hair” by Elizabeth Acevedo. Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and author. The central idea of ​​this piece is about beauty standards. Latinos are often stigmatized and stereotyped as immigrants, illiterate, poor, etc. Africans are discriminated against just because they are black. And those who carry both their Latin and African blood always feel inferior and ashamed of being discriminated against by society. Therefore, some people in the Afro-Latino community have found ways to change their appearance so that they can look “more white” to conform to the beauty ideals set by society. In an interview with Latina magazine, Elizabeth Acevedo once said: “So my mom is fairer-skinned, and her hair is a little straighter than mine. I grew up seeing that image. I grew up with the blonde Barbie, like so many of us do. That impacts you. I remember washing my hair and pulling it down when it was wet, hoping it would stay straight. I was trying to replicate what I was told was beautiful: a fair-skinned, straight-haired woman.” The beauty of Barbie dolls was the ideal beauty of society at that time, straight hair and blonde, fair skin, blue eyes, that made people like Elizabeth Acevedo’s mother impose that standard not only on herself but also on her daughter. She wanted Elizabeth to fix her hair because of that standard as she said in the poem: “My mother tells me to fix my hair, and by fixing she means straighten. She means whiten.”
    2. Lyric poetry and spoken word is the way Elizabeth Acevedo uses to convey her concerns to people. Through spoken word, she spoke of the stigma in beauty standards in the Latino community. They set the standard that a “beautiful hair” must be straightened. Besides, she also shows the cruelty of society. Society judges Latin mothers that if they date or marry a black guy, they do not care about their children’s future, and their children will be scorned by society for carrying on black blood.
    3. In the end, she sent us a message that “You can’t fix what was never broken.” Being a Latino of African descent is not her choice in particular and others in general. There are a lot of unfortunate women who become pregnant because they are raped. Regardless of any blood, any race, we are all human. Being an African-Latino is not a sin so there is no need to change yourself to become another. Regardless of whether your hair is straight or curly, black or blonde, and so on, just be yourself. Do not follow that silly “beauty standards” and deny your origin.
    4. Elizabeth Acevedo’s poem complements the concerns of other sources discussed in the class because it emphasizes stigma in beauty standards. Stigma in society’s view of women’s looks. Over the centuries, our society and culture have promoted and embraced Eurocentric beauty ideals. The poem “Hair” has inspired us to always be proud of being ourselves. No beauty is considered standard because each of us has our own unique beauty.

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  9. Accents by Denise Froham

    1.The central idea of this piece is embracing traits about yourself that make you unique. Denise Froham’s mother’s accent is the topic of her poem because it makes her special. In the US people are often expected to conform to what society expects of them and Froham’s mother’s accent is the embodiment of not conforming.
    2.Froham uses poetry to convey her message. Her style of poetry is very descriptive and uses many metaphors. The first metaphor Froham uses is “My mom holds her accent like a shotgun…” This metaphor shows that her accent is strong and she wields it like a weapon. When you think of someone wielding a weapon you don’t think of a timid individual and a shotgun is a powerful gun. Comparing her mother’s accent to this shows that her mother is not timid when she speaks or afraid to showcase her accent. It also shows that she speaks with power and conviction. Froham even goes on to break down the accent “English sits remixed in her mouth so ‘strawberry’ becomes ‘eh-strawbeddy…’” which shows the pride in the way she speaks english as well as gives everyone an idea of how her english sounds. This shows that Froham wants the audience to not only know her mother has a strong accent, but also experience it.
    3.The best example of Froham’s description of her mother’s accent is “ Her tongue can’t lay itself down flat enough for the English language, it got too much hip, too much bone, too much conga, too much cuatro to two-step, too many piano keys in between her teeth, it got too much clave too much hand clap, got too much salsa to sit still it be an anxious child wanting to make Play-Doh out of concrete English be too neat for her kind of wonderful.” This compliments her mother’s accent by explaining that English can’t contain it. Froham uses multiple metaphors to describe the accent, ultimately saying that her accent has too much life for the English language. Froham’s description is a perfect example of her not just embracing what makes her mother unique, but celebrating it. She never mentions embarrassment of the accent or shame that it doesn’t fit in. Instead she celebrates that it stands out and states that English wasn’t enough for her.
    4.This piece compliments the concerns of the other sources in class because it focuses on creating something new that is a mix of other cultures. Many other concerns from class are about standing out, or creating a culture from a mixture of other cultures, specifically US and Latin.The title itself is about something that is a combination of two languages. Accents is about embracing and being proud of what makes you unique. The title itself is about something that is a combination of two languages.

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