Houston Community College has contributed approximately 550 images of photographs documenting carnivals in the Dominican Republic by Rubén Durán to the Artstor Digital Library.

Durán’s photographs explore Dominican identity by documenting the yearly carnival celebrations in Santiago, Cotuí, Santo Domingo, La Vega, and La Romana that celebrate the cultural mosaic forged by ordinary people.

Carnival is celebrated throughout the Dominican Republic during the month of February. Revelers wear exotic costumes of allegorical characters such as the Diablo Cojuelo (limping devil), who attacks people with an inflated vejiga (bladder) or a whip, Roba la Gallina (steal the chicken), and Califé, a poet, the people’s voice, who criticizes political, social, or cultural figures.

Rubén Durán, Instructional Designer and video developer at Houston Community College, has also collaborated on the film “Colors of the Dominican Carnival” with Donna Pinnick. The documentary features interviews with mask-makers, musicians, anthropologists, and the masqueraders who create the characters at the heart of carnival.

Houston Community College is one of the largest institutions of higher education in the United States, including more international students than any community college in the country.