This body of work comprises a series of drawing/paintings and short animations that explore the phenomenon of migration and the African diaspora. This exploration was originated by contrasting aspects of forced and voluntary migration in addition to Kvasnyand and Hales’ idea, that “Belonging everywhere or not belonging anywhere” describes the situation among people of the African diaspora.
Through research I intersperse layers of personal history with that of my ancestors and their descendants in the Americas. As an Afro-Latino I am interested in the process of hybridization as a consequence of migration and its connection with urban distribution based on ethnicity. I draw inspiration from African textiles and their African American hybrid form: quilts. This project also analyzes Ptolemaic concepts in regards of pre-Columbian and African map conventions, and African syllabaries in order to visualize aspects of the diaspora such as colonization, evangelization, displacement, instability, inequality, marginalization, adaptation, and acculturation.
With the development of this project I intend to reach a more accurate understanding of the multi-layered experience of the African Diaspora, particularly with regard to the persistent color line traced five hundred years ago by the Western colonial system. This exploration traces back to the origins of cultural traits of the Afro-descendant traveling culture, and it focuses on elements that survived and disseminated in the New World such as quilts and percussive music and place them in a contemporary context. Finally, by using cotton fabrics I incorporate materials infused with historical meaning to my practice as a visual artist.
*Chere: Afro-Colombian word for bocachico, a fresh water fish species.