Letters From My Exile @ LIC ARTS OPEN FESTIVAL

The migratory process can be understood as a type of human displacement, a source of physical and psychological separation for the individual. People migrate for many reasons, in search of better lives and opportunities, to provide for their families, and to escape war and oppression. Yet this decision comes, many times, at the cost of separation for an indefinite amount of time. With this project, I am interested in focusing on personal narratives, as expressed through portraits and letters.

Letters from My Exile is a participatory art project that pairs portraits and letters that tell the story of people who have endured tremendous sacrifice in their quest for a better life. Addressed to family members, the letters talk about forced family separation and feelings of distance and loss experience by migrants.  The project explores the core concept of family through distance, memory and absences as experienced by immigrants in NYC, who are unable to return to their country of origin and of people that have endured a forced family separation cause by immigration policies.

The photographs are printed on regular paper and then transferred to canvas using the acrylic lift transfer process.  This artistic process also becomes part of the concept by revealing the act of migration itself; the transfer of images from one medium to another, serves as a metaphor for the process of individuals migrating from one place to another. The final image endures many changes, as does one individual moving to a different country.

When immigration is discussed in contemporary political news, people are seen as percentages, statistics, and policies. Letters from My Exile offers a personal alternative to the representations of immigration in the mass media.


The Thread of Knowledge

The Wayúu, an indigenous community in the La Guajira Desert peninsula between Colombia and Venezuela. They are organized in matrilineal clans, making the Wayuu women not only the center of the family but cultural leaders as well. 



Since January I have been doing a graduate certificate program on Photo-Narratives and New Media at Fundación Pedro Meyer in Mexico. This week was my final project presentation and I was super excited to show the multimedia video " Nosotros Somos Aves" - "We Are Birds".

Here are some pictures from the presentation.

LAPü: The Last Wayúu Dream at Umbrella House

Last weekend was a magical weekend at Umbrella House, Thanks to everyone that came and that was interested in learning about the Wayúu community and their way of feeling the world. And thank you so much for those of you who wanted to buy prints!! you guys are beautiful!

Today in Colombia, there are more than 65 languages that are spoken besides spanish. It is not only a language, but an ancestral knowledge and it is our heritage to respect it, and give it the place that it deserves and the dignity.

Lapü removes the soul from the person who dies, in a way I feel that if we don't help to preserve this knowledge, we will be removing part of our souls as well.

Thanks for coming to Umbrella and showing your love!!

Jiër, The Wayuu Woman

On February 2015, I visited La Tuna, an indigenous community in Manaure, La Guajira, at the northern part of Colombia. The Wayuu people have a strong bond to their land, which they inherited from family clans. I stayed with a family of strong women; they have a very important role because, as a matrilineal society, they are the ones in charge of preserving the Wayuu culture.

Wayuu women, as givers of life, not only assure the continuity of their lineage but also the permanence of Wayuu existence. They are in charge of teaching and transmitting the spiritual and traditional aspects of the Wayuu life and culture. It is believed that Wayuu women have a special connection with the spirits and that they have the power to interpret the dreams for future predictions.