To have been broken is not to be irreparable. Iridescence explores the aftermath of sexual violence, highlighting the beauty that emerges in spite of trauma, as light refracts through shattered layers. Society today is faced with the constant stigmatization of sexual assault survivors and their ability to cope and heal. Over the years, the media we consume has conveyed a message of objectification and in turn unspoken support for rape culture when it comes to how a person’s body is portrayed--so much so that the issue’s prevalence has slowly developed into invisibility. We've created a separation between a body and the human being inside of it, leaving empty, eroticized shells to be consumed by the public eye. In Iridescence, the subject melts into the background, losing any semblance of herself, becoming an abstraction of an identity. But then, she builds herself back into a complete human again, showing the power of survivors of sexual assault--this power that rapists sought to strip away, but ultimately failed to do so.

This piece explores Cuban history through a lens of melancholy, revolt, and imagination, while highlighting the impacts and power that art had in the Cuban revolution, counterrevolution and post-revolution.

sembrando estrellas | la imaginación, la revuelta y la melancolía

 

mundialización, apropiación, cosificación, animismo

las generaciones no se forman en la voluntad de querer lo distinto sino en el ser de la creación

cuba era una fusión de los linajes humanos

un mestizaje que sirvió como un puente a excusar el racismo

sus culturas casi desaparecieron con el trauma cultural del colonialismo

creando el concepto de la necesidad de sangre revolucionario

racismo del estado que dejó una gran parte de la población excluida, silenciada y exiliada

 

los cubanos son gente de la tierra

no había distinción de la cultura y la vida

estaban sembrando estrellas

la independencia que ilumina y mata las partes del sistema que son derrotadas

cuba era estrella solitaria en el caribe

un modelo por toda américa latina

 

¿pero el progreso de la revolución era de verdad?

¿o las estrellas eran eclipsadas por las cometas dormidos que iban por el aire engullendo mundos?

para los europeos el nuevo significa la ruptura

pero para los latinos es continuidad

¿estaban diciendo o siendo dicho?

fidel era símbolo de padre y patria 

pero la voz de nuestra mamá siempre estaba al fondo hablando del sufrimiento de sus hijos

 

melancolía | una pérdida que nos consume

 

no podemos escapar a nuestra derrota ni describirla ni analizarla

el objeto perdido contiene una parte de sí mismo

una melancolia por lo que nunca fue

una cicatriz que no sana fácilmente o completamente

pero la melancolía puede ayudar a salir de posiciones binarias

a volver a definir sí mismo

 

revuelta | un retorno a antiguos estratos psicosociales

 

una idea noble que termina con violencia

revolución política y revolución social son distintas

¿se puede hacer revolución sin violencia? debido al poder, tal vez no

pero revuelta se puede destruir sistemas de poder

los intelectuales tienen más oportunidades a cuestionar el poder

es un proceso complejo de su formación desintegrativa e integrativa

 

imaginación | la capacidad colectiva a imaginar realidades imposibles

 

el nuevo no surge de la nada

el nuevo es trabajar el pasado y dar nuevas definiciones y presentarlas en nuevas formas

dejando atrás el pasado, siempre inventando el nuevo

la memorización cambia a lo largo del tiempo pero también hay riqueza en este cambio

progresando hasta una mejor cultura 

una balanza entre la tristeza y el logro

 

el arte sirve como apertura a criticar los sistemas de poder

la vanguardia tiene la capacidad de asimilar, sintetizar y renovar las formas

creando algo que el mundo nunca ha visto

con el cuerpo en un lugar central en su arte

ficciones somáticas

 

el poder cambiando de manos

apoderando nuevas voces, no ideas

permite la incorporación de las culturas indígenas y queer y las voces no europeas

muchas voces cantando juntos pero todavía puedes distinguir cada una

 

este ritmo sale en cada parte de la cultura cubana 

el ritmo de las estrellas sembradas

empujando a través de la tierra

para alcanzar el cielo

sowing stars | imagination, revolt and melancholy

 

globalization, appropriation, objectification, animism

generations are not formed in the will to want what is different but in the being of creation

cuba was a fusion of human lineages

a miscegenation that served as a bridge to excuse racism

their cultures almost disappeared with the cultural trauma of colonialism

creating the concept of the need for revolutionary blood

state racism that left a large part of the population excluded, silenced and exiled

 

cubans are people of the land

there was no distinction of culture and life

they were sowing stars

the independence that lights up and kills the parts of the system that are defeated

cuba was a lone star in the caribbean

a model throughout latin america

 

but was the progress of the revolution real?

or were the stars eclipsed by the sleeping comets that went through the air swallowing worlds?

for europeans the new means the rupture

but for latinos it is continuity

were they saying or being said?

fidel was a symbol of father and country

but our mother's voice was always in the background talking about the suffering of her children

melancholy | a loss that consumes us

 

we cannot escape our defeat nor describe it nor analyze it

the lost object contains a part of itself

a melancholy for what never was

a scar that does not heal easily or completely

but melancholy can help to get out of binary positions

to redefine itself

 

revolt | a return to ancient psychosocial strata

 

a noble idea that ends with violence

political revolution and social revolution are different

can revolution be made without violence? due to power, maybe not

but revolt can destroy systems of power

intellectuals have more opportunities to question power

a complex process of its disintegrative and integrative formation

 

imagination | the collective capacity to imagine impossible realities

 

the new does not come out of nowhere

the new is to work the past and give new definitions and present them in new ways

leaving the past behind, always inventing the new

memorization changes over time but there is also richness in this change

progressing to a better culture

a balance between sadness and achievement

 

art serves as an opening to criticize systems of power

the avant-garde has the ability to assimilate, synthesize and renew forms

creating something the world has never seen

with the body in a central place in the art

somatic fictions

 

power changing hands

seizing new voices, not ideas

allows for the incorporation of indigenous and queer cultures and non-European voices

many voices singing together but you can still distinguish each one

 

this rhythm comes out in every part of the Cuban culture

the rhythm of the seeded stars

pushing through the earth

to reach the sky

Humans have separated our society from the natural world with our history of colonization, deforestation, capitalism, and agriculture that have left natural resources depleted and indigenous people that coexisted with the rest of nature violently displaced. The history of botanical drawings coincides with this history of colonization. The distortion and technalization of birdsong paired with the somewhat violent movements of these early botanical drawings are representative of these first acts of distancing ourselves from what we didn’t know, one of the most influential problems in our modern world.

When I'm underwater, time seems to freeze and a single moment can last for hours. The sound and lack thereof and overlayed imagery that I've captured over my lifetime represents the serenity and magic that water can create. I find the artificial light of projectors extraordinary. Beams of red, blue, and green light pass through a liquid crystal display composed of thousands of tiny pixels to create an image you once saw with your own eyes and immortalized with a camera. The lack of cuts adds to this sense of timelessness.

Men have been playing the 'hero' James Bond in movies for 67 years. In 2021, for the first time ever, 007 is not only a woman but a black woman! The franchise has such widespread influence over young people's minds, shaping our social norms and morals. The Bond Girls explores the role of women in our media, blending clips of our 'hero' James Bond being violent towards female characters with the distortion of one of my own photos. Sean Connery who played Bond from 1962 to 1983 literally encouraged violence against women in interviews saying, “I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong in hitting a woman, though I don’t recommend you do it in the same way you hit a man. You don’t do it with a clenched fist. You do it with an open hand. Remember that.”