El Centro Conmatizque and its related worlds were created as part of “Futuro Conjunto,” an original work of speculative, transmedia Chicanx fiction by Charlie Vela and Jonathan Leal. Written between 2019-2020, “Futuro Conjunto” is Vela and Leal’s second RGV-focused, cross-country collaboration (Vela works in Texas and Leal in California). It features contributions from over thirty independent RGV artists and activists, and it was funded by a Community Engagement Grant from Stanford University.
Mundo Screams - Rune Longoria, Danielle Vela, Deni Arjona, Sadie Hernandez, Carmen Castillo, Melli Medina
Futuro Conjunto Choir - Arturo Alaniz III, Antonio Zamoralez, Donner Maldonado , Pete Luna , Sandra Herrera-Walker , Alvaro Arroyo , Diana Tovar , Rudy Cerda , Ray Perez , Jonathan Leal , Charlie Vela , Issac De Leon
Cyndi Geerdes and Stanford’s Office of Community Engagement for the grant that made this possible.
John-Michael Torres for coming through with some beautiful instruments
Charlie would also like to thank:
Avery (for reminding me to believe that the future can be brighter), Jeanette (for unwavering support of each and every outlandish project I’ve ever started), and the beautiful people of the Rio Grande Valley (who inspire me endlessly through their strength, resiliance, and creativity.
Jonathan would also like to thank:
Starlin Lemons (for making this life a song), RGV Family and Friends (for being down to jam), Cherríe Moraga (for everything!), Paula Moya (for hope after the apocalypse), and all my incredible advisors, mentors, colleagues, and friends for their guidance, patience, support, care.
“Futuro Conjunto pits decolonial power against frontera justice and leaves both transformed. We will turn to it as fodder for sonic thought experiments, science fiction speculations, and political analogies.”
“Futuro Conjunto is the radical, body-rocking, post-apocalyptic Chicanx album the world needs right now. Jonathan Leal, Charlie Vela, and a roster of artists from the Rio Grande Valley have crafted a stunning aural document ranging from the heavy to the glitchy to the utterly serene. Arcing from noise to tranquility and back, each track takes a narrative step towards a future full of unimagined possibility. We may not know what comes next, but with Futuro Conjunto in our speakers, at least we know it’s going to sound fantastic.”
“The best border-busting, genre-crashing, decolonial-futurist party you’ll ever attend.”
“From the perspective of someone old enough to be that “great grandma’s great grandma” referenced in this mind-blowing celebratory sci-fi spin into the future, Futuro Conjunto is a tribute to the resilience of la cultura Chicanx in the face of an increasingly repressive world of curfews and repressive regimes. Leal and Vela are a dynamic duo of talent and crítica creativa, seamlessly weaving a visionary decolonial indigenous feminism into the soundtrack. La jornada es puro placer and utterly smart, arriving at a collective (re)sounding rendering of “Volver.” Yes, we return to reimagine a future. “Play it again.” Please.”
“Futuro Conjunto is more than just an incredibly conceived, composed, and crafted series of amazing songs and vignettes—it's an immersive, multimedia sci-fi experience, a milestone in Chicanx Futurism. At once a source of pride for our community and a gauntlet thrown down for creatives across South Texas, Futuro Conjunto stands out as the ultimate game-changer. Una chingonada.”