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give a total experience. I think it makes the work deeper and have more dimensions. That’s why the whole conversation was improvised on the spot. Suffering Refugee Art™ is something I want to avoid being pigeonholed as. Since the 80’s, the Global North has wanted this kind of art from Central America, very obvious one liners with visuals of tanks and dead bodies. In general, my art is about negotiation of happiness that happens. It has to have complexity and range, I owe my family history this respect. It can’t just say “We’re perpetually sad,” because it erases so much of

what we fight for on the daily. Negotiations happen. We still celebrate and take birthday photos. We make virtual villages. Our parents went hungry to feed us one nice meal at a restaurant or told us to go see the movie and ended up waiting outside because we all couldn’t afford to enter the theatre. We found a church. We use a traveler doña to get the goods that make us feel good. I listen to J.Lo. We create our own music videos to Happy. We’re in the U.S “dando guerra” and who would I be to erase all that? I want to show everything.

Profile for Motherlands Zine

ISSUE ONE pick up a copy at

ISSUE ONE pick up a copy at