Patricia Velázquez once tried to search any records of the word “reggaetón” on the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueño’s official website. She came up emptyhanded, so she plotted a way to change this.
“What we want is to expose and study reggaeton as part of our culture,” says Velázquez, who’s a student of Cultural Management at the University of Puerto Rico. “What really matters is that the people who lived the genre and were raised with it are able to study and analyze it.”
Velázquez is now launching Hasta ‘Bajo Project, a transmedia endeavor that seeks to create the first digital and physical archive of Puerto Rican reggaetón, alongside Bryan Negrón, a sociology student at the University of Puerto Rico and the blogger behind Puesto Pa’l Perreo. The duo started the first phase of the project in early December, asking people on social media to upload photos of items – CDs, concert tickets, flyers, merch and more – and tag the project with the hashtag #SomosHastaBajo. Velázquez says this phase will allow them to map out a landscape of the items available before they move on to a physical archive.