I made a commitment to freedom and justice with my pen, lens, voice, body, and imagination. I feel that to make an observation is to have an obligation. Personal is political.
Miss Wynwood (2014-2019)
Miss Wynwood was a character that represented a beauty pageant-like queen who was interested in politics, so she decided to create her own political party called FAFA and write a political manifesto.
Through this character, I managed to develop a set of actions to highlight various common interest issues. An important step in this reflection was the symbolic creation of her participation in the electoral race for the United States of America’s presidency.
Each of my actions was linked to a specific set of rights in the political, cultural, economic, and social spheres to promote human rights and citizen mobilization. The right to have rights stands as the main platform for action that seeks the visibility of groups often invisibilized by political and media discourses.
To achieve these purposes, the actions of Miss Wynwood aim at building an alternative as a counterpoint to the anti-political discourse of the Republican candidate Donald Trump from various creative platforms, ranging from the creation of a political party, issuing a manifesto and building an effective interaction between the electoral campaign apparatus and artistic practices, as a way to deploy alternative cultural and democratic choices.
It is a way of proposing a new method to articulate the political from the cultural framework reference and to detonate reflections about Latinos in the space of American cultural diversity. Another way of doing politics is possible and Miss Wynwood develops a set of options to make action art an original political action.
In Venezuela, (ripe) bananas are an essential part of the daily diet. In the Venezuelan common language, however, people use the term cambur (banana) to refer to someone who holds a very important position in the public sector, which was usually obtained through means, very distant from those based on merits. In this regard, people who occupy a public position for simply sharing the same political tendencies, or the same DNA, are said to have obtained “such a large banana” (Tremendo Cambur). It is understood they are allowed to remain in position and enjoy all the benefits, as long as the relative appointing such position remains in office.
The current President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro is fraudulently deforcing his position. Therefore, it is fair to say that Maduro is sitting on a “very large banana,” with no intentions of deposing his position or its privileges through peaceful or democratic methods. Hence, Maduro’s banana is certainly rotten.
The initials S.O.S officially are a distinctive Morse code sequence. To me, however, it represents the acronym of the popular usage associated with the phrase “Save Our Ship,” and my ship is Venezuela. When Venezuela fell under Hugo Chavez’s regimen first, just to fall helplessly under Maduro’s dictatorial mandate, the country’s media (radio, TV and even satellite networks) was coupled to the political ideas of the 21st Century Socialism.
Just like me, many Venezuelans had been fighting for democracy via social media. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube have become our channels to protest and be heard by the international community.
Yo soy Venezuela y tengo derecho a…
Yo Soy Venezuela y Tengo Derecho a… is a participatory performance via social media, which I started at the end 2015 and continue until 2019. I invited journalists and people from the creative arena in Miami, Lima, Bogotá, Caracas, New York, Madrid, Rome, Venice, Paris and London to join our voices and thus raise awareness regarding the ongoing constitutional and social crisis in Venezuela, as well as its humanitarian crisis.
Other people joined the action on their own initiative. To participate, each person recorded a thirteen-second video with their phone and then shared it on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
I had decided to use social networks to disseminate the videos because it was an active way to support human, civil, and citizens’ rights in Venezuela. Such platforms were also the only forms of communication and information possible because the media in the country at that time and now suffers serious restrictions. In this regard, many media outlets were privatized, censored while others were forced to stop operating.