Not One of Us

I  see  a  close  relationship  between  indigenous people’s  rights  being  constantly  violated,  their  land exploited  by  colonial  and  capitalistic  practices  and  how  the natural environment suffers devastation after these encounters. Animals  and plants  have  been an asset throughout human history and have also contributed to the exoticization  of  places.  Indigenous  people  from around  the globe are protectors of natural resources, and when they are displaced from their lands, animals and vegetation suffer as well.

Not One of Us is a project in which the relationship between colonialism and migration is confronted. With the series titled “Runners” which depicts refugees from different origins and their journeys, I pay tribute to those who flee their home in search of a better future. The word runner refers to someone who runs, but also refers to long narrow rugs that are meant for hallways to join different spaces, therefore I portray refugees as links that bring different cultures and places from around the globe to us. 

Besides the above works the project also includes two welcome rugs to my home city and country (Bogotá, Colombia) and several small latch-hooked rugs depicting endemic and endangered species from different countries, but mostly from places that have a lot of emigration. In juxtaposition to the fiber art pieces, I created a series of a few paintings titled “Forasteros” which is the Spanish word for foreigners. With these works I illustrates past and contemporary behaviors of colonialism inviting the viewer to reflect on the relationship between first world visitors to third or new world countries vs. the influx of immigrants to the first world and the different reactions and dispositions from both sides.