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Introduction This art exhibition embodies many of the hopes and aspirations of millions of Latin Americans and Caribbeans now living outside their home countries. First, through the hands and eyes of the region’s artists, we hope to challenge old stereotypes concerning migrants and migration, and to show the human and community perspectives so often overlooked. Second, this exhibition represents the visual launch of a collaboration between the Inter-American Development Bank’s Social Sector Department and its Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) that will seek new policy approaches to address the social, labor and economic dimensions of migration. The artworks on exhibit were selected from the submissions of 140 artists born in Latin America and the Caribbean. They highlight the historical impact of migration on the region, particularly the very different migration patterns emerging today, including intraregional trends (e.g. Bolivians to Argentina, Guatemalans to Mexico) as well as to new countries of destination such as Spain and Japan. Over the past decade, the MIF has put a spotlight on the enormous flows of financial resources – remittances – from migrant workers to their families back home. Not only do remittances lift millions out of poverty, but they are also redefining migrant families’ possibilities in terms of health care and education, and improving conditions for the local communities in which they live. Approximately 25 million people have left their countries of origin, all the while maintaining close ties to their families. These millions of families have truly become transnational, living in two countries and contributing to two economies and cultures at the same time. This exhibition includes artists from Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Uruguay; and provides a window into the social, economic and labor impacts of migration. We thank the IDB Cultural Center, in particular Félix Angel and Elba Agusti, for their dedication and talent; their efforts have made this exhibit possible. We would also like to thank Jacqueline Mazza and the Social Sector Department for initiating this project and carrying out the accompanying seminar on the social and labor dimensions of migration. And finally, we thank the artists for their participation and for inspiring us to work together, in a new initiative, to better the lives and contributions of migrants throughout the region, and to bring migration out of the shadows into the development strategies of the coming decades. Donald Terry Manager Multilateral Investment Fund Washington, D.C.

A group from Guatemala

Works on exhibition 1. En espera por irse (Waiting to Leave) by Andrea Aragón, Suchítepequez, Guatemala, from the series Punto de Fuga (Vanishing Point), 2007, photograph, 11 x 14 inches 2. Mama Tina (Mother Tina) by Andrea Aragón, Guatemala City, from the series Punto de Fuga (Vanishing Point), 2001, photograph, 11 x 14 inches Andrea Aragón (b. Guatemala City, 1970) exhibited her project Verte por última vez (To See You for the Last Time), about HIV-infected people, in the Bancafé Lobby which was visited by 10,000 people, and published in the book Pandemic: Facing AIDS (Umbrage Editions, New York, 2003). Another series, La línea (The Line), about prostitution, was exhibited in Guatemala and New York (2004-2008), and included in the book Cuerpos II (Bodies II, Synchromy-La Sombra, Buenos Aires, Argentina). She has been included in numerous group exhibitions and has presented solo shows at the Centro Cultural de España (Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica), Museo X-Teresa (Mexico City), Galería Carlos Woods, Artecentro Fundación Paiz, Centro Colloquia, Galería Contexto, Centro Cultural Metropolitano, and Musac (Guatemala) and Chasama Gallery (New York). She was included in the book Mapas Abiertos (Open Maps), on contemporary Latin American photography (Lunwerg, Barcelona, 2004). In 2006, the editorial Del Pensativo House (Guatemala), published her book Guatemala de mis dolores (Guatemala of My Pains).

Moisés Castillo (b. Antigua, Guatemala, 1975) began working as a photojournalist at age 16. In 1995 he joined The Associated Press, and many of his photos have been published by the agency throughout the world, and in The New York Times Magazine, Le Monde, El País, The New Yorker and Time. In 1996 he helped to found El Periódico (The Newspaper) in Guatemala, a daily where he works as photo editor.

Works on exhibition 3. Lejos de casa (Far from home) by Sandra Sebastián, McAllen Detention Center, Texas, U.S.A., from the series Punto de Fuga (Vanishing Point), 2005, photograph, 11 x 14 inches Sandra Sebastián (b. Guatemala City, 1976) grew up working with her father and brothers, who are also photographers. She received her masters in Journalism and currently she is completing post-graduate studies in Visual Anthropology at the University of Barcelona. She has worked as a photojournalist since 1998 with the dailies Siglo XXI and El Periódico in Guatemala. She has also collaborated as a stringer with Agence France-Presse, The Associated Press, Polaris and Reuters, in addition to national and international publications, and has exhibited her work in solo and group shows in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, the United States, Cuba, Ireland, France and Spain.


Works on exhibition 4. En la aduana (At Customs), 2007, oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cms. 5. Recién llegados (Newly Come), 2007, oil on canvas, 60 x 70 cms. 6. Buscando trabajo (Looking for Work), 2007, oil on canvas, 100 x 85 cms. At age 16, Andrea Gelsi Castillo (b. Montevideo, Uruguay, 1956) joined the workshop of artist Edgardo Ribeiro, a disciple of Uruguayan modernist pioneer Joaquín Torres-García. Later she continued her artistic education with the painters E. Ribeiro Nario, C. Lara, G. Acevedo, V. Jones, D. Vicente, and the sculptress M. Ugolino. Since 1980 she has exhibited in both solo and group shows in Montevideo, and she has painted murals for two hospitals in Uruguay. She currently studies philosophy and psychology at the Faculty of Humanities in Montevideo, and also teaches psychology there. She is married to Marcelo Sheppard and has four children: Marcelo José, Estefanía, Agustín y Gonzalo. Her father Adolfo Gelsi is a lawyer, and her mother Ana María Castillo a sculptress and family counselor.

Statement I am interested in the psychic continuity transmitted through generations of individuals within a family, which goes beyond citizenship. They share moving and chimerical stories, and sometimes painful family experiences caused by separation and displacement. I admire the perseverance of immigrants in the face of adversity, their capacity to endure a lack of resources and to deal with loss and maintain a sense of solidarity even with those they left behind in their original countries. It is important to understand the situation of the migrant, since this way we can understand their cultural differences and live together without expecting everyone to behave the same. Global society demands today a different sense of citizenship more adjusted to our multinational, multicultural, and multiethnic reality.


Works on exhibition 7. En camino (On the Way), 2001, aguafuerteaguatinta, 40 x 64 cms Mirta Kupferminc (b. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1955) has exhibited extensively in Argentina and abroad since 1977, receiving several awards, such as First Prize at Argentina’s National Salon of Printmaking (1997), Honorable Mention at the Taipei International Biennial (1999), Silver Medal at the Taiwan International Print Biennial (2006), and Third Prize at the Kochi (Japan) International Biennial (2008). She has represented Argentina at the International Printmaking Biennials and Triennials of Krakow, Gÿor (Hungary), Puerto Rico and Ljubljana. Her work will be shown in November 2008 at the University of Maryland.

Statement I am the daughter of Auschwitz survivors who arrived in Argentina in 1948. The experience of exile and migration of my parents has marked my whole life. Migration frequently deprives children of being brought up with grandparents or extended family; I was raised without photographs or belongings from previous generations. This situation deeply shaped my art and my concerns with identity and cultural heritage. Argentina is a country made up of multiple ethnic and immigrant groups. Globalization and increasing social inequalities have endangered a planet that has turned out to be inhospitable for people, hence, the territories fade and the individuals keep on passing endlessly. In my works, different characters pass by endlessly, carrying their own roots, their cities, their cultures and also their fantasies and fears. Each character in my work is a protagonist of their own stories walking by the edges of the world. Each one is alone. Each one is unique and individual.


Works on exhibition 8. Great Liaisons, 2007, Enamel markers, acrylic, digital image, lens and resin on wood, 12 x 12 x 4 inches 9. At Dusk, 2007, Enamel markers, acrylic, digital image, lens and resin on wood, 12 x 12 x 4 inches Luisa María Mesa (b. Havana, Cuba, 1951) moved to Miami in 1953 when she was only two years old. Although she has lived in Spain, Venezuela and Puerto Rico for a total of twelve years, she has spent most of her life in Miami, where she currently lives and works. She is interested in exploring the nature of human consciousness and our relationship – as individuals – to the larger picture. The process of repetitive drawing is the essence of her work; it is calming, meditative and insightful. Lines are a metaphor for our interconnectedness and the layers allude to the multidimensionality and different levels of our existence. Ms. Mesa earned her BFA (magna cum laude) at Florida International University, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and has exhibited her work in numerous venues. Luisa’s work is included in several important collections and she is an Artist-in-Residence at ArtCenter/South Florida in Miami Beach.

Statement Although Miami is home for me, I cannot overlook the fact that I was born in Havana, Cuba, as were both my parents. Miami is where I established my cultural identity and sense of self. Notwithstanding, there is a part of me that is and forever will be associated with Cuba, if only through the experiences of my parents, grandparents and the many friends and acquaintances that have a story to tell. For me, Cuba has a romantic and nostalgic allure – like the image of that long lost love that lingers on in your mind, despite the passing of time; it is that unfinished situation that you fantasize about and almost certainly has very little to do with reality. When I was a child, my mother, father and grandmother, would always tell me stories about growing up in Cuba, about how good it was. My work is a mirror of self and through it I work out spiritual, emotional and psychological issues.


Works on exhibition 10. Sin título (Untitled), 2007, MexicoGuatemala Border, photograph, 16 x 20 inches 11. Sin título (Untitled), 2007, MexicoGuatemala Border, photograph, 16 x 20 inches Alberto Millares (b. Mexico City, Mexico, 1973) graduated as a graphic designer in 1999 from the Universidad Tecnológica de México, and then studied photography, photojournalism, and portraiture at the Centro de la Imagen and the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores of Monterrey. In 2001 he presented his first solo exhibition entitled Fotos (Photos) for the Fotoseptiembre competition. In 2003 he moved to Montreal, Canada, where he worked for the daily La Voz (The Voice) and Punto y Aparte. He returned to Mexico City in 2005, working for the daily Milenio and Proceso magazine, in addition to exhibiting his artwork in Les Clochards du Metro, among other venues. He received an honorable mention in the Third Save the Children photography contest (III Concurso Iberoamericano de Fotografia, 2006), and currently works for Proceso magazine in Mexico City.

Statement It is estimated that 500,000 people leave my country, Mexico, each year. In the last 50 years, 30 million Mexicans migrated to the United States. To talk about migration in Mexico is an everyday affair, something natural, part of daily life. It is difficult to find a person who does not have a relative in the U.S. making money and sending something to the family that was left behind. The fact that I am a photojournalist allows me to be in contact with the real situations created by migration from Mexico, not only on the northern border with the U.S., but also on the southern one, between Guatemala and Mexico, which is a forgotten frontier, a boundary Mexicans do not want to see or to exist. My works document what happens along that frontier.


Works on exhibition 19. La fiesta (The Party), Latacunga, Ecuador, 2007, photograph, 2.50 x 63 cm 20. Los meseros (The Waiters), Quito, Ecuador, 2007, photograph, 190 x 32 cm 21. Los que regresan (Those Who Return), Quito, Ecuador, 2007, photograph, 250 x 48 cm Geovanny Verdezoto (b. Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador, 1984) lives and works in Quito. He graduated from San Francisco University of Quito with a BA in contemporary art and a minor in photography. He has exhibited his work since 2006. Although photography is a relatively new medium for him, he was encouraged by the publication of his first book of photography, Los que se quedan (Those Who Stay) in Ecuador in 2007, and the award he received at the International Festival of Photography held in Rome in 2008.

Statement My photos represent a never-ending journey through my native country, seeking faces and multiple stories. I have always been interested in trying to portray a more human aspect of immigration. I have traveled Ecuador looking for characters that can help me to reach into the essence of my country’s soul. I wanted to register the reality of a simple, humble, warm and humane country, so I could show it to those who left their families behind, for whatever reason. My vision is far from the perfect, at times epic, a depiction one may find in a postcard or calendar. Instead, my pictures are a portrait of a country abandoned by its own citizens.

El Salvador

Works on exhibition 17. El otro rostro del inmigrante (The Other Face of the Immigrant), 2006, giclée on canvas, 40 x 30 inches 18. Chao Mein y Pupusas (Chow Mein and Pupusas), 2008, Diptych, giclée on canvas, 24 x 60 inches Nicolás F. Shi (b. San Salvador, El Salvador, 1958), a long-time Washington, DC resident, was born in El Salvador to Chinese parents. In 1980, he left his war-torn country and came to the United States to attend college, receiving a Masters degree in Architectural Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1986. He practiced Architecture and Engineering for more than ten years before dedicating himself to painting. He has received several recognitions for his work, in El Salvador and Washington, including the Medal of Honor in Fine Arts from the Salvadoran Consulate in Washington, DC. He was the winner of the international painting competition “Salvadoreño trabajador de corazón” in 2000. An air-mail stamp bearing his winning entry was issued the same year by the Salvadoran Postal Administration.

Statement I have lived the “immigration experience” twice, first as the son of Chinese immigrants to El Salvador, and again when I moved to the United States. In a way, I think the recent Salvadoran diaspora mimics the Chinese massive migration of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In El Salvador, my family experienced all the problems and tribulations that Salvadorans are living nowadays in this country. They suffered discrimination, they feared deportation and they rejoiced in the opportunity to raise their children in a better environment. By living in three different cultures I have taken the best that each one has to offer. My work —and life— have been influenced by my Salvadoran upbringing, my Chinese heritage, and my formal education in the United States.


Works on exhibition 14. Inmobiliaria “Los Inmigrantes” (“The Immigrants” Real Estate Agency), Campos de Nijar, Almería, Spain, from the Immigrants series, 2006, photograph, 30 x 46 cm 15. La mirada de los invisibles (The Look of the Invisible Ones), Campos de Nijar, Almería, Spain, from the Immigrants series, 2006, photograph, 30 x 46 cm 16. Tránsito en el Mar Blanco (Transit in the White Sea), Campos de Nijar, Almería, Spain, from the Immigrants series, 2006, photograph, 30 x 46 cm Tess Quintana (b. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1966) began working in photography in 1985 while living in Peru. In 1995, she studied documentary photography with the editors of the Sunday magazine of the Argentine newspaper Clarín, and created her own magazine (Alta Montaña) dedicated to extreme sports. In 1996 she received a Fulbright fellowship through Argentina’s National Fund for the Arts and attended New York University and the International Center of Photography (ICP). She has exhibited in Buenos Aires, New York, Mexico and Barcelona. The present work belongs to a series called Immigrants, which she is developing while in Almeria, in southern Spain. Statement As an immigrant myself, I can identify with how immigrants feel and experience life, their daily difficulties, their great struggles, and their loneliness. I am attracted to the idea of connecting people while in transit, and dig into what it means to be on an alien continent without being invited or feeling welcome. When I began this series, and got to know the people, I came across the key of my essay: the encounter with their looks, reflecting the silent truths of disillusion, disappointment and a few small successes. In these encounters, I was a witness to vital and urgent need of human beings: the need to find a place to take shelter, clean oneself and fill one’s stomach after a difficult day of work. A human being is a creature of habit, a being which becomes accustomed, and seeks -- despite difficulties -- to overcome. In my case, I sought daily objects which themselves speak of a culture, a necessity, an identity asking for a place.This is for all those who with their efforts have been able to continue with hope.

Dominican Republic

Works on exhibition 12. Entre los sueños y las pesadillas (Between Dreams and Nightmares), 2008, acrylic on canvas 30 x 49 inches 13. Barquito de papel (Paper Boat), 2008, mixed media on canvas, 40 x 55 inches José Pión (b. Higuey, Dominican Republic, 1977) is a self-taught artist. In 2008, he studied advertising and marketing at the Acción Pro Educación y Cultura school (APEC) in Santo Domingo, where he currently lives and works. He received an award for sound performance at the Dominican Republic’s XXIV National Biennial (2007), the first time a prize was awarded in this category in the competition.

Statement Every day around the world thousands of people leave their home behind, risking whatever they have, including loved ones, customs, traditions, values and language, with the intention of crossing over to a foreign land in search of a better future. Dreams often crash and lives are lost. Some are able to achieve what they set out to do. I am interested in those who put their own and others’ lives in jeopardy for a better opportunity and end up with nothing in return.

Guatemala The Inter-American Development Bank Luis Alberto Moreno, President Daniel M. Zelikow, Executive Vice-President Otaviano Canuto, Vice-President for Countries Santiago Levy, Vice-President for Sectors and Knowledge Manuel Rapoport, Vice-President for Finance and Administration Steven J. Puig, Vice President for Private Sector and Non-Sovereign Guaranteed Operations Donald Terry, Manager, Multilateral Investment Fund Kei Kawabata, Manager, Social Sector Pablo Halpern, External Relations Advisor

The IDB Cultural Center Félix Angel, Director Soledad Guerra, Assistant Coordinator Anne Vena, Inter-American Concert, Lecture and Film Series Coordinator Elba Agusti, Cultural Development Coordinator Debbie Corrie, Art Collection Management and Conservation Assistant

Exhibition Committee Félix Angel, Director and Curator, IDB Cultural Center Elba Agusti, Cultural Development Coordinator, IDB Cultural Center Jacqueline Mazza, Senior Social Development Specialist, IDB Social Protection and Health Division Eleanor Sohnen, Consultant, IDB Social Protection and Health Division

Catalogue Design Joe García, Fernando Ronzoni

MULTILATERAL INVESTMENT FUND Tel. (202) 942-8211 – Fax (202) 942-8100 e-mail:


IDB CULTURAL CENTER Tel. (202) 623-3774 – Fax (202) 623-3192 e-mail:

Inter-American Development Bank Atrium 1300 New York Avenue, N.W. Washington D.C. 20577 Monday, June 9 to Friday, June 13, 2008 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lejos de casa. La experiencia de la migración en América Latina y el Caribe  

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), the IDB Social Sector Department, and the IDB Cultural Center announced the selection of the artists...