An immigrant, descendant of immigrants. This is my lament. My attempt at understanding. Absurd historic recurrence.
I am a descendant of immigrants who became an immigrant myself. Half of my family fled Spain during the Spanish Civil War, arriving in Venezuela just after World War II. I grew up with a grandfather who impressed upon me the importance of Spain as our Motherland. Now I find myself repeating my family’s story, but the idea of a Motherland is not clear anymore.
I have experienced firsthand what it means to be an immigrant. I belong to the so-called “Venezuelan Diaspora,” often defined as the voluntary emigration of millions escaping the Bolivarian Revolution regime. During the long years of political oppression and economic failure under president Hugo Chavez, Venezuela became a monumental airtight cell, where we all slowly began to asphyxiate.
Without initially realizing it, I became a pawn on history's chess board, relegating my "personal process" to a series of moves in a larger historical game. In my journey I was welcomed in the US and in a way, granted a sort of reincarnation in life. These years as an immigrant have given me a new perspective about migratory processes.
In 2014, I began to develop a video project that would explore immigration issues from an intensely personal perspective. While I recognize that every art work is to some degree political, my idea was not to produce a documentary about immigration and immigration policy in the U.S.—far from it. My goal was intimate: to explore my observations, experience and feelings as an immigrant today.
The project takes the form of a poetic experiment. In the piece, I explore my recent experiences of constant movement between distant geographic spaces, from Venezuela to the US, to Italy, Thessaloniki, Colombia, Laos and beyond. I attempt to understand my thoughts and feelings as an immigrant. This process began long before I was born and constantly brings me to the words of Brazilian writer Paulo Emilio Salles Gomes in his essay “Cinema: A Trajectory within Underdevelopment” (1973):
"Not European, not American. Having no original culture, nothing is foreign to us because everything is foreign. Our painful self-creation develops between the rarefied dialectics of not to be or being other."
Through this project I have discovered that home is a fluid word and belonging a state of mind.
7th Snowtown Film Festival. Watertown, NY
Film and Video Poetry Symposium. Los Angeles, USA, 2020
Winner Best Experimental Short Film. 8th Antakya Film Festival. Turkey, 2020
19th River Bend Film Festival. USA, 2020
Video Art Miden. Greece, 2020
12th Charlotte Film Festival. USA, 2020
32nd Girona Film Festival. Spain, 2020
25th Split Film Festival. International Festival of New Film. Croatia, 2020
Minikino. 6th Bali International Short Film Festival. Indonesia, 2020
15th Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival. Trinidad and Tobago, 2020
23rd Revelation Perth International Film Festival. Australia, 2020
Winner Best Experimental Short Film. 5th Inca Imperial International Film Festival. Peru, 2020
68th Columbus International Film & Animation Festival. USA, 2020
23rd Rencontres Internationales Traverse. France, 2020
3rd North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival. Plains Art Museum, Fargo /Bismarck Downtown Artist Co-Op, Bismarck/ Grand ForksTaube Museum of Art, Minot. USA, 2020
Other Events and Exhibitions:
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia. Artist Talk and Screening. Italy 2020
Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. School of Mass Communication. Artist Talk and Screening. Venezuela, 2020